Currently, there is no fully developed and executed smart city anywhere. There are no clear standards, financing strategies, or even definitions. In this vacuum, many municipal leaders are feeling smart city fatigue as they try and make sense of the barrage of pitches from vendors and private consultants now populating this field.
Despite the confusion, a number of cities are making significant progress, as well they should. If harnessed effectively, new technology tools can vastly reduce crime, boost job creation, and improve public transit, among other potential problems these tools have the potential to solve. But true progress demands mayors understand these issues on their terms and how they apply to their city. They need clarity of vision, concrete budget, and operations plans and an honest appraisal of the many potential partners.