How to turn a smart idea into a smart city

In Switzerland, many small pilot projects are underway to test various elements of the smart city. This project is investigating to what extent these approaches can be extended to entire cities.

  • Project description

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    As digitalisation progresses, so-called smart cities (SC) promise social and technological innovations that will increase the resource efficiency and the quality of life in Swiss cities. Various towns have already launched pilot projects. However, transferring these solutions to the entire town or to other cities is a challenging endeavour. This joint project of the Universities of Fribourg and St. Gallen and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) strives to identify the obstacles and to find out how they can be overcome. To this end, we will analyse citizen participation, the business models of participating companies and the development of supporting SC structures such as standards, funding programmes or guidelines and laws. We will then work out solutions with the participating cities, companies and networks and use these to build an integrative, strategic development approach.

  • Background

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    Swiss cities are confronted with increasing urbanisation, climate change and digitalisation. The idea behind the smart city is to offer an integrative approach that makes it possible to meet these challenges on the basis of a comprehensive concept. However, both in research and in practice, the scaling of SC projects is considered a major hurdle. In this project, we will study how user involvement, new business models and the creation of new structures for an SC sector influence the scaling of SC solutions.

  • Aim

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    The aim of the project is to accelerate the scaling of SC solutions and to promote SC market development in Switzerland, so as to increase innovation, efficiency, social welfare and the quality of urban life. For this purpose, we will identify and develop strategies, tools and instruments for the scaling of SC solutions.

  • Relevance

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    The project addresses a highly relevant problem area of the digital transformation, i.e. the development of the smart city sector and the management of the digitalisation of Swiss cities. Our results will help solve the problems related to the scaling of SC projects. We will develop practical recommendations for action, which can be used to support cities and companies in driving forward the digital transformation for the benefit of society and the economy.

  • Original title

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    Scaling Smart City Projects - from Individual pilots towards a Common strategy of industry Emergence (SPICE)