Cities are growing at a breath-taking pace worldwide. More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and this figure is set to rise. This presents huge challenges for city leaders and managers needing to greatly expand municipal infrastructures including energy (heat and power), waste and water management as well as transportation. The European Commission’s Smart Cites and Communities Strategic Implementation Plan (2013) includes a requirement for cities to develop innovative approaches to finance as a key enabler. Levels of investment mean that cities cannot rely upon public sector funding alone and need to develop new market-oriented and sustainable strategies for public-private cooperation generating external investment. The ability to access this is linked to the ability to overcome or mitigate risks associated with deployment of the technologies. By identifying these, the public sector can begin to unblock some of the barriers that limit private sector finance.
The key risks associated with the deployment of smart city technologies and solutions at a district level can be summarised as:
- Technology –the new technology does not perform as expected in real life deployment.
- Construction –unexpected complications or delays affecting the return on investment.
- Operational – suboptimal operation of the infrastructure or technology.
- Market – the market demands for the new infrastructure or technology are lower than expected.
- Policy – the regulatory framework changes leading to a fall in profit margins.
- Capability – the public authority labour force is not equipped with the skills to develop commercially based solutions for deployment in the market.
The SmartImpact network aims to develop an approach that builds on the work being undertaken by a number of cities identifying mechanisms and approaches which district smart city delivery.
Read More: http://urbact.eu/smartimpact
Dublin City Council hosted the launch of SmartImpact on the 19th July 2016.