Smart cities and Tech Evolution - XXVII Service Infrastructure -The IEEE Smart Cities Initiative

The IEEE Smart Cities comprises 5 Core Cities plus several Affiliated Cities all over the World. Credit: IEEE Smart Cities Initiative

Globally launched by the IEEE Future Directions Committee, the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative is a global, multi-discipline cross-IEEE effort, through which IEEE seeks to help municipalities address the huge demands on land, resources and services associated with population growth.

Through the IEEESmartCitiesInitiative,IEEE experts will work with local government leaders and city planners around the world to explore the issues and address what’s needed to prepare for the ever- increasing urban population growth, including engaging and interacting with local inhabitants to increase awareness of their urban environment, leading to the formation of smart cities. 

  • The IEEE Smart Cities Initiative begun piloting this effort, with Guadalajara, Mexico, as its initial participating municipality. IEEE Smart Cities Initiative support is part of a comprehensive strategy for the revival and regeneration of the historic city center. 
  • Soon after Guadalajara a bid for participation led to the selection of Trento, Italy, and Wuxi, China, to become part of the initiative and a second bid resulted in the selection of Casablanca, Morocco, and Kansas City, USA.  
  • The bids saw the participation of over 60 cities, with very good quality proposals. Hence it was decided to let these cities be part of the global initiative becoming “Affiliated Cities”.
  • Municipalities selected for the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative gain access to “best-of-breed” technologies and standards and will share their knowledge and best practices within a vibrant community.

The IEEE Smart Cities Initiative is designed for municipalities in developed and developing countries who are already in the process of planning and preparing for an increase in urban residents. As well as access to expert knowledge and insight, municipalities will benefit from valuable components such as: 

  • workshops to develop white papers on which future work will be based;
  • education resources, including support for Masters and PhD students, thesis development in smart cities-related areas and development of smart cities- related courses with a focus on “MOOCs” (Massive Open Online Courses);
  • organization of a thematic international conference on smart cities
  • knowledge base/repository, to serve as a source of lessons learned and other
  • information and intelligence for future smart cities, and
  • access to IEEE Distinguished Lecturers. 

The aim of the initiative has been from the very beginning to foster the use of technology to help cities in their endeavour of getting smart and smart to the benefit of their citizenship in a most effective way.  Hence the approach to ask for an Open Data policy and the set up of reusable library of components and applications.

This creates a virtual SOA that dramatically reduces the effort in technology adoption.

Author - Roberto Saracco

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