This guide introduces the concept of ‘smart places’. Its starting point is ‘people in places’, rather than technology per se.
Technology can connect infrastructure, business, communities, public service and individual citizens in ways that were previously impossible, improving economic and social well-being and transforming public services. But this research is about how that technology can be used better and more effectively to achieve these connections, not about the technology itself.
For example, service plans can no longer be confined to single or even groupings of public services organisations with a ‘producer-led’ mentality; they need to start with people, locations and communities, with a strong focus on the outcomes deemed important by citizens, businesses and politicians.
This is digital at its best – helping to deliver regional economic, social and public sector ambitions at the same time. It needs more than a ‘smart city’ (or a ‘smart places’) label. It needs practical action and a change in approach. Socitm members can play a key strategic and leadership role in making this happen in the places where they work.
Publications in this series: