Building consensus for a smart city
The promise of smart cities has been around for a long time: As smart technology has become more accessible, city officials are eager to find cost-efficient ways to make better informed decisions and improve the lives of business owners, residents, commuters and city visitors. But even as new technology gets integrated into communities every day, there are plenty of ambitious efforts that have failed to succeed or even launch. New smart city technology integrations fail for many reasons, but one prominent reason is lack of robust and meaningful engagement with the local community For smart city solutions to take permanent hold, cities and solution providers must engage with the local community together and directly to build public trust. Below are some critical ways Comcast’s partners have started to build trust within the communities they work:
Understand the issues that are important to the community
Technology can address community challenges in ways that are tangible and easy to explain. For example, if a city implements a smart trash solution, residents will immediately see the impact on their daily lives. Other solutions have more opaque benefits like eliminating operational steps, simplifying processes and improving building efficiencies. Implementing a smart streetlight solution is a good example of this: While the benefits eventually get passed to city dwellers, they are not as clear cut as a smart trash solution. Building trust is greatly simplified when you solve a known issue, so the best place to start your smart city journey is to understand what those issues are. Municipalities with an already in-depth knowledge of critical pain points and concerns can use that information to make better informed decisions about what solutions to deploy.