Smart Cities vs. Civic Tech: an analysis

Annette Jezierska
German Dector-Vega

18 Apr 2018, 2:45 p.m.
Auditorium 3

Civic Tech is often viewed as the poorer cousin to Smart Cities. The latter is bolstered by tech giants and marketing agencies worldwide while the former often relies on local social impact objectives, volunteers, and grants. Yet there is spectrum between the two, which The Future Fox believe is under-exploited, holding back much greater social benefits and funding for high-impact Civic Tech products. As such GovTech, which might be viewed as an indicator of CivicTech, is expected to triple over the coming years (Public, GovTech State of the UK market, 2017).

The Future Fox’s research investigates the relative impacts of Smart Cities and Civic Tech initiatives, and ask what further role there is for Civic Tech to shape the Smart Cities agenda, helping attendees develop and justify creative applications to scale up their technologies.

For example, on-demand services like taxi hailing, deliveries, car clubs and soon driverless pods all share one thing in common, the need for road space to operate, which is a public good currently unregulated and becoming more difficult to manage.

The objectives of this research are:

  • Rapid review examples of Smart Cities strategy implementation (eg mobility as service, intelligent city lighting, advance waste management, in 4-6 cities)
  • A statistical analysis on the deliverables: what proportion of delivered initiatives are Civic Tech (by expected impact/budget)? What are the commonalities between impacts on citizens?
  • Success analysis: which initiatives had the greatest measurable impact? Which failed?
  • What opportunities were there for the Civic Tech initiative to play a stronger role in making their respective Smart Cities strategies more successful?

This workshop presents the research findings, followed by a facilitated discussion on: - Other examples of the interaction or overlap between effective Smart Cities and Civic Tech, and how they were justified - Rapid idea generation to link the Smart Cities and Civic Tech examples - A summary of results and lightbulb moments.