Cities are structurally complex systems. They need to address challenges ranging across health, transportation, environment, social interaction and much more. Technology can play a role in addressing these various challenges. Automation of systems can help improve existing manual processes. Sensors can generate new sources of data that can lead to previously unavailable insights. Collectively, this can enrich the ability to service communities. However, technology can compound the existing complexity.

Establishing the appropriate infrastructure to allow sensors and other connected devices to effectively monitor activity requires careful planning. Ensuring systems are capable of securely collecting, processing and storing the data generated from these devices will be crucial. And careful consideration of a proper governance structure to maintain an individual’s privacy and minimize the potential for discrimination will be essential. Building efficient, resilient cities of tomorrow will require strong collaboration between the public sector, private sector and social sector.

In addition, engaging the public throughout the process will be a key aspect to achieving success. An approach of open dialogue and thoughtful consideration of the issues can help navigate towards positive smart city outcomes.