Successful Smart Cities need the right culture; it’s all about the people

According to a panel of experts that meet at Smart City InFocus in Yinchuan, China recently, changing organizational culture is an essential element of a successful smart city. However, this is easier said than done.

Empowering people, as well as leadership and governance are key factors in Smart City development, says Kaine Thompson from the Office of the Chief Executive, Wellington, New Zealand. He claims that any change, if driven by people first, has a much greater chance of success.

The moderator of the session Smart City InFocus, TM Forum’s Head of the Smart City Forum, Carl Piva wanted to address the challenges of future city developments and asked what big shifts are we still missing in smart cities? “Procurement is biggest opportunity and challenge. People think they know what they’re looking for, but they are not engaged with the market. That is the biggest issue.”, Dublin’s Smart City Programme Manager, Jamie Cudden said. Kaine Thompson adds that  “the things that are missing…I agree on procurement, but also encouraging investors, funders and decision-makers to have faith towards outcomes rather than challenges, and accept sometimes we might be wrong. The flip side is engagement – I do not mean radical stakeholder groups, but a mandate from the people of the city. Success comes back to understanding their fundamental problems.”

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