Steps on how cities can become enlightened


The Global Future Cities Industry Alliance issued a whitepaper highlighting what it means to be an enlightened city.

According to the whitepaper, a smart city means “not only automating a few different functional areas, but also centralising all of the data flows and using big data to provide capabilities that make the city truly smart.”

The whitepaper Building an enlightened city presents the five stages cities go through in transforming into a modern and enlightened city.

The stages include:

  • Analog cities which is a traditional, unconnected city with no broadband communications infrastructure.
  • Wired cities which has an IT backbone but has not fully exploited it. Cities under this stage have little to say in terms of automating their administration processes.
  • Digital cities provide improved data sharing and connection through the use of information communications technology. City departments would have automated business processes but would not have centralised data acquisition, processing and use.
  • Smart cities use a combination of technologies and connected utilities to pursue higher quality of life, performance, and sustainability. Smart cities are those whose leaders leverage and exploit insights developed from big data.
  • Enlightened stage is a smart city that extends its mission to using technology to help nurture cultural, social, and spiritual advancements.

To date, there are many analog and wired cities, few digital and even fewer smart cities, according to the paper. Only a few will reach the enlightened stage if cities continue implementing current or planned modernisation frameworks.

The whitepaper provides recommendations on how cities can become enlightened:

Homes services and convenience: Cities will need to extend smart building capabilities to homes by installing high speed connectivity to connect new technologies including sensors, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Sustainability has to become the number one focus through the use of technologies such as smart meters and innovative business solutions to enhance conservation of resources eg in water efficiency, smart buildings and clean energy programmes.

Talent development and attraction: Cities will need to develop innovation incubators and industry partnerships in order to adopt technologies early. Access to capital and investing in industry will foster innovation, development, and investment capital.


The whitepaper can be accessed here…