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Data collection, analysis, and communications inform urban research and decision-making, enhancing cities’ functioning, efficiency, competitiveness, and social equity and inclusion. Smart Cities coordinate information, integrate data collection and analysis, and create a synergistic knowledge foundation from which governments and the public can make informed decisions. Collecting, merging, and incorporating coordination of emerging technologies can support the best interests of the communities. The design approach of community engagement, in person, and online, expands across topics key to city organization and functioning. Intelligent Cities help educate citizens about healthy living habits, efficient energy use. smart transportation choices, ecological maintenance of blue-green environments, an expanded innovative economy, and a connected, informed, and progressive government! Is your city smart?

Activity 1 – What is a Smart City ?

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Cities are concentrated areas of population, services, education, recreation, livelihood, and living. More than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and more people are on their way! Smart Cities ask for a new collaboration between the private and public sectors, city and state organizations, national and international organizations, and businesses. Instead of only individual partnership and activism, Smart Cities work to create new collaborations, neighborhood by neighborhood, city to rural, urban to county, etc. How is your city getting smarter?

Activity 2 – New Tools for Understanding Urban Areas

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Cities are concentrated areas of population, services, education, recreation, livelihood, and living. More than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and more people are on their way! Nodes of people, products, and potential urban areas need to offer safe and sustainable living environments, public transit opportunities, local food production, local goods, and unique opportunities. A good example is OXFAM’s safe and Just Space for Humanity. Complete’s OXFAM Safe and Just Donut Worksheet noting advances in equity and accessibility for humans, while marking the breaches of earth’s environmental ceiling. Think of the progress that is being made worldwide, and note the areas that need attention.

Upload your worksheet to the Smart City Gallery!

Activity 3 – Coordinating Urban Technologies

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Today’s cities use approximately 70% of the global food supply, produce 70% of the world’s garbage, consume 80% of the world’s energy, and emit 60 % of greenhouse gas emissions.

Rapid investments in building information technologies into the city’s fabric utilize data to integrate and improve urban services. Mandating sustained development of new methods. Integrating data, combining software, and using data analysis city by city, in collaboration with other cities, will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the environment in which cities operate.

Looking at the data graphics, think about your city, list positive things that you like, and list negative items that could be improved.

Next, look at URBAN OBSERVATORY, an online data program started by the architect Richard Saul Wurman, Prior Founder of TED Talks and Author of YELLOW Pages or Classroom without Walls.

Look at the data collection themes and consider how your city handles the same topics. Then take a look at the NEXT. cc’s Smart Cities Worksheet and grade your city on its themes.

Look at the United Nations 17 Goals for Sustainable Cities. Using’s SUSTAINABLE Goals Worksheet, circle the themes you think your city should address.

Activity 4 – Getting to know your neighborhood

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Today data is generated in real-time in cities informing decisions about developing and managing traffic on roads, buses, and trains. Synthesizing a neighborhood that has been underserved with a new product designed for residents offers new commercial incubators, affordable housing options, and greening of streets and parks. Research a neighborhood in your city that needs improving. Again make a list of positives and negatives. Then, using a screen capture of the district, imagine what could be built there to improve the area. Ask yourself what the residents need and where the best service location would be. Ask other people for their opinions. All people deserve access to clean and healthy water, a source of good food, affordable housing, parks, schools, community centers, and more. Finally, suggest goals, strategies, and physical ideas to improve a neighborhood.

Activity 5 – Developing and using new Communication Technologies

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New technologies now offer tracking of activity over time through different seasons and neighborhoods. Unlimited data is gathered on safe communities, tree coverage and urban heat islands, green roofs, relaxing places, demographics, age, income, noise, walkability scores, building use, ownership, and age. Bringing this information visually together informs decision-making, articulation of urban problems, plans, and policies, and the importance of engaging the community input in developing equitable resources for the most people possible. Check out the following urban apps and websites
What plants grow in your neighborhood? Ask I Naturalist
What trees grow in your neighborhood? Ask Leaf Snapp app(free)
What birds live in your city? MERLIN BIRD ID
How easy is it to walk around? Check your city’s Walkability Score
Where is quiet or loud in your neighborhood? Use the Hush City App and record and evaluate quiet and loud spaces.
Where is it safe to bike? Check out the Bike Map and track a route.
Is your city made of older buildings or newer buildings or both? Find out at the Atlas of Reurbanization
How much water does your city or state use? Check out Water Usage

Explore ways of learning about where you live. What surprised you? What was positive and what was negative?

Activity 6 – Smart City Smart Region

A digitally and physically connected city works with the local region to serve the city’s residents- with water, energy, and food. It also works to provide safe and affordable housing with educational possibilities for every age. In addition, it reduces single-use gassed vehicles with walking, biking, and public transportation accessibility. Finally, it connects schooling with jobs, vocational training with Tech Innovation, and collaborative practices with Creativity Centers and Innovation Districts. How is your city connected to an intelligent region?
Make a map of your area and city. Label points, systems, and critical institutions involve both parties working together.


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