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New global smart cities playbook developed by Edinburgh Napier researchers

A new smart cities playbook has been developed by researchers in Edinburgh – to help cities around the world to digitally transform.

Academics at Edinburgh Napier University worked on the United Nations resource to provide practical recommendations to improve urban life with the use of cutting-edge tech.

The ‘Managing smart city governance’ document will allow planners to understand how cities around the world have adopted technology, and the key lessons learned.

Professor Luca Mora and Dr Paolo Gerli from ENU’s Business School led the research team behind it, offering practical guidance to local and regional governments leading ‘smart city’ projects.

Existing examples include real-time monitoring of traffic data, and online platforms to enhance civic participation.

The recommendations are intended to help develop more effective, inclusive, and sustainable urban areas, by showing how cities worldwide have been successfully dealing with the ethical, societal and environmental implications of digital technologies.

The final publication draws on examples from Scotland for cities in other parts of the world to follow, including the collaborative Scottish Cities Alliance, the launch of the Scottish Digital Academy, and Glasgow’s Participatory Budgeting Evaluation Toolkit.

Professor Mora presented the final document to the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday.

He said: “This playbook draws together evidence-based advice, offering what we hope will be guidance that makes a positive difference around the world.

The playbook itself is based on a review of existing evidence, a survey of local government leaders from 250 municipalities across five continents, and interviews with 131 experts from 37 different countries. The findings are then split into three pillars: strategy, collaborative ecosystem and technology.

As well as ENU, the playbook was jointly produced by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), CAF – Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Tallinn University of Technology.

“Digital technology offers many opportunities for leaders of local and municipal governments – and it could revolutionise the quality of life for people who live in urban areas.

“The potential of these technologies is almost limitless, so it is important that they are put in place strategically and collaboratively to make the most of them.”

Source: Futurescot

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