Creating Smarter Cities – Lessons from the Smart Cities Project

The Smart Cities project brought together local authorities and academic partners from 13 cities in the North Sea region to develop and deliver better, more customer-focused electronic services. This booklet is a whistle-stop tour of the main findings and conclusions

Smart Cities are a way of ‘thinking and doing’ that puts citizens, visitors and businesses – the ‘customers’ of a city – first. In Creating Smarter Cities we bring together everything we’ve learned delivering one of Europe’s biggest collaborative multi-national Smart City projects.

Becoming Smarter Cities

The smartest cities and towns in Europe are discovering how to use technology and redesign internal operational procedures to deliver more efficient and effective services to their customers. Some municipalities may have to reengineer their business processes, some may choose to centralise their customer service activities. Sometimes they may have to think more strategically about the channels they use for customer interactions.

Smart people, not smart technology

Whatever changes a municipality must make, customer-centricity – the true essence of ‘smart’ – comes down to people. Technology is a means to an end, but a clever new e-service will all but fail if people don’t like it or won’t use it. Municipal employees, whether they are inconspicuous administrators or face citizens every day in a neighbourhood office, must understand that their work must always focus on servicing customers. Customers, meanwhile, must be ready to engage with their city authorities and work in partnership to make every e-service deliver on its promises.

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