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Facing the challenges

Top 10 Smart Cities Challenges
Discover the main challenges that city leaders must face when they decide to turn their city into a smart city.

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These are the main challenges that city leaders must face when they decide to turn their city into a smart city.

1. The desire for a standard city model

Cities vary enormously in their characteristics and objectives, each one has its own economic, social, political and technological context with a different level of maturity. The city's own knowledge of its infrastructure, issues and requirements must be combined with consulting work to define the unique objectives for each city.

2. Analyse, don’t just collect

It is not about installing sensors and collecting large amounts of data without a prior strategy, cities must analyse what information is really necessary and what can be done with it. Cities must also use their ‘brain’.

3. Treatment of big volumes of information

The increasing amount of data collected daily through sensors, cameras, applications and many other sources of information, has outgrown the traditional data processing systems. A Big Data platform simplifies and reduces the workload to process that data.

4. Use of the data beyond the city’s requirements

Collecting information is only of value if it is used. So open up the data to different audiences, from citizens to software developers to private companies.

5. Move from reactive to proactive behaviour

Most cities currently behave reactively. They work after the fact to resolve issues. But now the machine learning and analytical capabilities of smart cities make it possible to perform statistical analyses and simulate conditions on large amounts of historical data. This allows cities to act proactively to prevent many of these potential situations.

6. Break the information silos

Smart city technology allows cities to move from a "silo" approach, in which services are managed completely independently, preventing innovation and growth, to a holistic approach with which to achieve common synergies among municipal services and avoid duplication of hardware.

7. Constant Upgrades of Large Infrastructure

No vendor offers a complete solution that covers all the needs of a city by itself and this is not likely to change in the near future, so a recommended alternative is to assess a provider with integrating capacity, ones which can adapt and take advantage of what the city already has installed.

8. Dependency on proprietary systems (vendor lock-in)

Choose a technology based on open standards and the use of API interfaces that allow easy integration with other existing applications or even with those that are currently under development.

9. Security and privacy

Security and privacy are the main concerns of city leaders, as they must respond to worried residents about the use of their personal data and protect them from cyber-attacks. Cities should focus on choosing trusted providers or those that have partnerships with security specialists.

10. The pace of digital adaptation

The rapid technological development sometimes exceeds the pace of adaptation of the people who use it. Solutions designed with a simple interface, easy to understand and manage, encourage its acceptance and use.