GovEx Releases New Smart Cities Guide As Part of Research Collaborative

Jul 12, 2018

Today, the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx), part of Johns Hopkins University, announced the release of its new Smart Cities guide. Smart cities projects have proliferated in recent years, and this guide captures some of the best examples around the country along with resources and guidance to help cities understand the foundations of data practices that are necessary for any successful smart cities initiative.

GovEx’s Smart Cities guide includes real examples and considerations for cities thinking about building a smart cities initiative. The guide emphasizes giving resident an opportunity to share their wants and needs regarding data and technology. The resources included in the guide are shaped by the experience of GovEx technical assistance work in more than 100 cities throughout the world.

“The GovEx Smart Cities guide illustrates that smart cities initiatives are more effective when linked to city priorities and meaningful outcomes for residents,” said Katherine Klosek, Director of Applied Research, who led the project for GovEx. “Our approach to smart cities is to build on the foundational practices that make open data programs effective, such as setting clear goals and creating data governance teams.”

GovEx interviewed key stakeholders from Portland, OR; Columbus, OH; Kansas City, MO; and Louisville, KY, to gather their insight and expertise into key aspects of Smart Cities planning and implementation. The guide is divided into sections based on the necessary steps to establish the strong data management and use practice that are necessary for any Smart City.

“The GovEx Smart Cities Guide not only chronicles the ‘resident-first’ approach to smart cities research here in Baltimore, but validates that approach with examples from cities around the country that are at the forefront of this work,” said Dr. Gerrit-Jan Knaap, project lead and director of the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth. “This guide will be a valuable resource for Baltimore City’s smart cities planning, and our continuing efforts to use technology to benefit underserved residents.”

The Smart City guide, researched and written by GovEx, was the culmination of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research collaborative composed of GovEx, University of Maryland, Morgan State University, and University of Baltimore.

“The GovEx Smart Cities Guide really shines a light on the foundational processes and practices that cities need to foster for everyone to truly benefit from use of smart technology,” said Dr. Seema D. Iyer, a member of the project team from the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance. “These are the behind-the-scenes components that can help ensure resident engagement, transparent government, and open data access in the long-run.”

Since October 2017, these research institutions have worked together to determine how data and technology can meet the needs of residents in West Baltimore communities. On July 12th and 13th, the project culminates in a research workshop and community presentation of the report at Baltimore Data Day.

This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No (1737495).