Partnerships for smart and sustainable cities
Cities face a wide range of challenges: maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure, managing maintenance costs, rapidly changing technologies, ensuring proper data security and performance management, and resource constraints that affect all of them. Urbanization and climate change are intensifying these challenges, as increasing populations and risks from climate-related events impact cities’ plans and budgets.
Many cities are responding to this by making significant investments in new, smart technologies and data management systems. These technologies, such as electronic building sensors, traffic sensors, and waste bin sensors enable cities to provide services faster and more efficiently, enable remote control and measurement, allow the technologies to communicate with each other, and provide a foundation for a smart, sustainable city.
This new generation of digital technologies offers a range of previously unforeseen capabilities for cities to serve their citizens in innovative and sustainable ways by improving resource efficiency and operations performance. Developments in urban transportation, building energy efficiency, public safety, and other areas of city services are rapidly changing the landscape both inside city departments and in the communities they serve. However, while new technologies, and the data they produce, are beginning to help sustainable cities address pressing urban challenges, they often have difficulties choosing the right technology providers and effective engaging with vendors to build city infrastructure that aligns with their multiple goals. Cities are asking:
- How can cities overcome their challenges and constraints and benefit from the implementation of smart technologies?
- Which processes work and where are new, innovative models needed when engaging vendors, reviewing options, evaluating bids, and securing services to ensure the best outcome?
To navigate the complexities of technology innovation, related service offerings, and specific urban needs, cities need a framework for engaging with smart city technology vendors. Through a series of more than twenty stakeholder interviews, DNV GL, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), and Nutter Consulting developed the USDN Smart City Vendor Engagement Framework along with twelve case studies that demonstrate the various ways that cities can find and partner with vendors. The goal of the framework is to help cities and vendors identify the most productive ways to to meet our communities’ smart infrastructure and sustainability needs.