Hello #smartcommunityfriends, I’m back with another bonus episode of the Smart Community podcast that brings together multiple guest answers to the question, ‘Where to next with Smart Cities and Communities?” And this time I’m sharing with you the answers from a range of our guests this year:
The themes that come through in all of the guest answers are around sustainability of Smart Communities, but not so much from an environmental perspective. These guests are focused on the sustainability of communities and of Smart projects from the perspectives of sustainable funding, sustainable data driven decision making, and sustainable access to resources, be they local or global.
Several guests make important points about the fact that without sustainable investment of actual dollars, many Smart projects fail to get off the ground or continue past pilot phases. This of course hurts communities not only that were benefiting from those projects but also those that could have benefited had the learnings from the ongoing projects been able to be shared and scaled across other communities.
Then there’s the crucial topic of data being a public good, and that we must be investing not only financially in data, but also the skillsets and mindsets needed to have privacy, security and understanding of data so that we can really use it to drive decision making and policy that benefit the community.
And of course fundamental to every Smart Community conversation is the fact that it’s about sustainable access to resources, from transport to health care to food to manufacturing. Underpinning much of that is access to the internet, so that connectivity piece is crucial in preventing further digital divides.
We also discuss the tension between the global and the local, and the balance between the need for self-sustainability and a village approach in local communities with the knowledge sharing and global collaboration that is so necessary in our world today. We can have both!
As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.