Generate an understanding of prioritized values, right challenges and appropriate technologies. Evaluate the limitations that your communities face.
In the second step, Personalize, you will collaborate with your community to identify their needs, values and limitations. After the ethical baseline is set by the community, you will personalize the understanding of your community’s needs and the barriers which prevent the fulfillment of those needs. Equipped with environmental scanning tools, you will identify and prioritize the values of your communities, their most pressing challenges and the appropriate technologies that can be used to address them.
Smart City planning not only requires an understanding of the challenges, but also limitations around policy, technology, culture and even mindsets. Personalizing these considerations for the community ensures a holistic view on solving for their needs.
To personalize the understanding of your community’s needs, you must begin by identifying the different stakeholders of the community – the residents, the community organizations, the planners, the designers and the architects – who need to be involved in the process. Involving diverse stakeholders at every stage will enable you to uncover the varying needs within your communities.
This step also examines the hierarchy of these often competing needs and the relationships between the various stakeholders in a community. Personalizing the understanding of the needs of various stakeholder groups will build a repository of relevant information about the municipality, which will help Smart City Champions make informed decisions.
The generative output in this step is supported by the ESC Needs Analysis Tool and the Interview Guide. Either of these tools can be used to identify the right element combination for your community.
In 2012, the United Nations Development Program, the EU and the Republic of Armenia invested in a project, Women in Local Democracy to “advance gender equality, strengthen local democracy and enhance social cohesion within the Republic of Armenia”. Find out what was done to determine Armenia’s specific needs when attempting to close the gender representation gap.
In this step, you will analyze and assess the enablers that will support and the barriers that will hinder the process of addressing the community’s needs. Understanding the perceived, foreseen and potential enablers and barriers will contextualize your communities’ needs and values in a more meaningful way. Assessing the impact of disruptors to the community and having a holistic view of their environment will fortify your Smart City plans against future disruptions.
The evaluative output in this step is supported by the ESC Systems Mapping and Systems Mapping tools. Both of these tools can be used to visualize the systems contributing to and affected by your challenge.
In 2015, Sinfonia, a five-year initiative funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Research Institutes of Sweden (RI.SE) was formed to “deploy large-scale, integrated and scalable energy solutions in existing mid-sized European cities” and transform them into smart energy districts. Find out what Sinfonia did to understand the barriers and enablers for their smart energy project.