Many local authorities have made digital technology a fundamental tool in their territorial development strategy. According to the European Parliament's Mapping Smart Cities in the EU study, a smart territory is a territory that "seeks to solve public problems through digital technology on the basis of local initiative partnerships involving multiple stakeholders, with the objective of generating more sustainable economic development and a better quality of life".
However, the so-called "smart city" or "smart territory" approaches can be very different from one community to another and highlight different priorities depending on the major causes supported locally. However, it is possible to group the priorities into six main categories:
The management of "smart" projects leads to the creation of new models of governance and a cultural (rather than technological) revolution necessary to set up a sustainable innovation framework involving local authorities, the academic world, associations (user representatives, integration sector, etc.), entrepreneurs and citizens.
The public authority must evolve towards a role of support and trusted third party that collaborates horizontally with all territorial actors. Users' expectations are also increasingly personalized and complex to satisfy and evolve rapidly, as are technologies and the global economic context, hence the importance of initiating within public policies:
The objective is thus to identify viable economic models that will support the long-term innovation dynamic.
Within local authorities, it is a question of promoting the transition from a vertical organisation in "silos" disconnected from each other (transport, energy, distribution networks, social networks, etc.) to a more horizontal and user-centred organisation. To ensure this cross-functionality and meet the digital challenges of new businesses have emerged: Intelligent City Manager, Digital Officer, Data Officer, Innovation Manager.
This reorganization requires a change management over time to anchor the changes in a sustainable way. The first lever concerns the acculturation of agents and elected officials to digital subjects. This also involves the creation of communities or networks of internal digital referents. They can benefit from training, experience sharing, common resources and participate in the co-construction of projects.
Tactis supports intelligent territories in the definition and implementation of strategies and action plans that take into account the elements defined above, namely:
Tactis builds diagnoses and recommendations that highlight the specific features and assets of the territory, and proposes innovative responses to local challenges (lack of public transport, risk prevention, security, dispersion of public policies, etc.). The digital policies thus put in place encourage the emergence of new skills and know-how, which will have to be supported to ensure their scaling up.
1] Source: European Parliament (2014). Mapping Smart Cities in the EU
A question about community animation and the prefiguration of third places? Need to remove doubts in view of a future project? Send an email to Nicolas Potier, Tactis Associate Director.