Smart Cities. The roles played by technology, people and institutions

In recent period cities are growing increasingly larger, more complex and more important as the population ranks of urban areas swell with ever increasing speed. According to the United Nations Population Fund (see, 2008 marked the year when more than 50 percent of all people, 3.3 billion, lived in urban areas. By 2030 this number is expected to increase to 5 billion. With the rapid increase of the urban population worldwide, cities face a variety of risks, concerns and problems.
Here the need to consider our society differently. A society where knowledge and creativity have great emphasis and where human and social capital are considered the most valuable asset.

Who do we need to get involve? Our main actors are technology, people and community.
Technology is key to being a smart city because of the use of ICT to transform life and work within a city in significant and fundamental ways. Technologies are infrastructures of hardware and software that help us in our everyday life.
People are the creativity, the diversity, the education that make our society. Are the starting and the ending points, the reason why starting to design a service and its goal.
Community is the institution (governance and policy) the authority who manages our living-together. The support of government and policy for governance is fundamental to the design and implementation of smart city initiatives. It interconnects dynamically with citizens, communities and businesses in real time to spark growth, innovation and progress.
Given the connection between the actors, a city becomes “smart” when investments in human/social capital and IT infrastructure fuel sustainable growth and enhance a quality of life, through participatory governance.
A smart city deals with departments and communities, to become more transparent and accountable, to manage resources more effectively, and to give citizens access to information about decisions that affect their lives. It’s a citizen-centric city.
Conceptualizing Smart City with Dimensions of Technology, People, and Institutions.

Taewoo Nam & Theresa A. Pardo.
Center for Technology in Government University at Albany, State University of New York, U.S.