Smart Cities and Open Government News Digest class=

Smart Cities and Open Government News Digest

Government technology and Government Resource Planning (GRP) news from last week, found by the FreeBalance Strategy & Innovation Group.

WHERE IS THE SMART CITIES ACTION? There is so much noise about smart cities and smart technology that it is difficult to distill trends.  This past week, an article by Skip Descant in Government Technology described how “smaller cities often possess the nimbleness to act quickly in areas of developing and deploying smart city technologies.” A study for smart cities consultancy, Arup, described how cities are taking the lead in climate action.  Arup introduced a new term: “Polisdigitocracy” of using digital platforms for citizen engagement. Bill Goodwin in ComputerWeekly explained that smart cities initiatives are overly fragmented, and that technical integration is the key challenge. He also pointed out the need to consider cybersecurity and citizen privacy. Government use of surveillance technology in aid of public security, has led to many privacy concerns. Fabrizio Scrollini of the London School of Economics described the increasing use of surveillance technology by governments in Latin America. Clearly, a lot of action for small cities, climate action, citizen engagement, integration, cybersecurity, privacy and surveillance. It’s looking less like technology as solution, and more like planning as a solution.
HAVE WE GOT GOVERNMENT PLANNING AND PRIORITIES ALL WRONG? That’s the message coming out of Bhutan. Traditional measures of economic performance often result in negative impact. Nick Abrahams in the Sydney Morning Herald reported on outcomes from the focus on Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Bhutan: “the results of Bhutan’s focus on the happiness of its citizens speak for themselves. Bhutan is one of the top 20 fastest-growing economies in the world (6.5 per cent last year). It was the only country in South Asia to meet all of the UN Millennium Goals. It has a free press, a good education system and there is universal free healthcare.” Meanwhile, Mayuko Tani in Nikkei Asia described Bhutanese efforts to create a GNH certification program for business.
GOVERNMENT FINANCE OPEN DATA NOT MOST POPULAR IN THE US: Nathan Zencey revealed that latest Sunlight Foundation poll that shows that “police and crime” are the most used form of government open data in the United States. Government financial information was found to be 6th. in the top 10 as shown in the Sunlight Foundation infographic.