2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Maturity-based Scale for Smart Cities: A Conceptual Framework

Mr. Ala Suliman, University of New Brunswick (Presenter)
Dr. Jeff Rankin, University of New Brunswick
Dr. Anna Robak, WSP

As a response to the challenges of population and urban growth, the concept of smart city/community (SC) promises more intelligent, sustainable, and resilient communities that provide better services and quality of life. However, the SC as an ecosystem is an evolving concept; hence, there is no universally-shared definition or assessment tool. Additionally, each municipality worldwide has its own unique characteristics, challenges, and opportunities. Therefore, any SC definition and assessment method should be adopted or developed specifically for each city and agreed participatively by the SC initiative leaders. In terms of an SC assessment, most of the available tools are based on evaluating the performance of urban systems. Hence, the developed indicators are mainly used for ranking or comparison purposes. However, these performance and ranking indicators face many challenges due to the broad, multidisciplinary, and rapidly evolving and changing nature of SCs. For instance, due to the rapid technological evolution of SCs, some of the currently-accepted performance indicators will be obsolete in just a few years. Therefore, our research attempts to adapt a generic SC definition with three dimensions. These dimensions include the “connectivity” that can be achieved through intelligent technologies, “sustainability” in terms of long-term viable performance, and “resiliency” in terms of preventive and proactive considerations. Based on these dimensions, a maturity-based scale that is compatible with the evolving nature of SC is proposed for SC maturity assessment. The significance of the research outcome is that it will help the public and managers of the municipalities focus on advancing city maturity which is essential for continuously improving citizens’ well-being.