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Call for a Human-Centric Smart City Approach
Thomas Mueller31. August 20171 min read

Call for a Human-Centric Smart City Approach

Over the past seven years, the smart city approach has changed fundamentally in terms of the strategies that cities and communities have chosen as a pathway for transformation. Driven by technology providers in the early years, governments as leaders of the smart city movement have later understood that technology is “only” the enabler for reaching governmental, economic and societal goals.

Today, smart city strategies still consider technology as an enabler, but governments have learned that top-down initiatives are not a prerequisite for success. Drivers for success are collaborative and participative human-centric approaches. If a city or community wants to become smarter, it should take the needs and problems of its customers – most of all their citizens – into account.

Call for a Human-Centric Smart City Approach

The shift in the smart city evolution has been discussed often and we believe it is an important insight. One recent article on this topic has been written by Dustin Haisler for on the latest trends discussed at Smart Cities Connect Conference 2017.

At bee smart city we agree with the necessity of a shift towards human-centric approaches. In our article Smart City Evolution: A Review of Becoming a Smart City we cover the evolutionary phases of smart cities. Often, a human-centric smart city is also referred to as a "senseable city". Based on this evolution and our professional experience, we believe there is the need for a new paradigm in smart city development. You can read more about it in our article Towards a New Paradigm of the Smart City.

Key takeaways are from our perspective:

  • Recognizing the need for citizen-centric approaches in smart cities
  • Shifting the focus from technology to utilizing collective intelligence as the most relevant success factor
Facilitating the development and implementation of solutions that create added value and transform into collective good.

Explore human-centric solutions that smart cities are implementing as part of their strategic approach. Get FREE access to hundreds of SMART CITY SOLUTIONS that have been implemented successfully in numerous cities and communities around the world. Become a member of the global smart city network and community!


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Thomas Mueller

Thomas Müller is Managing Partner at bee smart city. With more than 15 years of public sector experience, he is an expert on smart city strategy and projects.