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Smart and sustainable cities

Sustainability is a goal. Intelligence is a resource. It follows that a ‘smart and sustainable municipality’ is one that uses human and machine intelligence to safeguard quality of life for its inhabitants and achieve sustainability.

The ultimate mission of a municipality is to safeguard quality of life for its inhabitants at the local level - today and in the future. Quality of life has to be the common thread running through the authorities’ vision for developing the municipality: What do we want to achieve for our citizens and residents, what do we want to keep, what do we want to develop and change?

Sustainability, environmental protection and resource conservation are all important factors to consider when developing this vision. Authorities need to create concepts for managing the cultural heritage and infrastructure, expanding mobility services and developing space; they should put together safety concepts and packages to assist and support the elderly and those in need, education and schools, as well as day care.

It is up to the municipal council to define the scope and quality of services to be provided by the municipality. Technology should be used to support municipal administration employees in managing and providing services.

Municipalities are processing an ever-increasing volume of data. Intelligence at the municipal level is revealed in the way the authorities collect and process data for providing services and managing infrastructure. The real challenge here is not technology, but strategy and organisation. So when we talk about intelligence, we mainly mean the collective intelligence of a municipality’s politicians and administrative staff.

To release this collective intelligence, municipalities should strengthen interdepartmental and agile ways of working - both within the council and at the administrative level. Essential to this approach are the following points:

  • Review governance within the municipality council
  • Develop a long-term vision for developing the municipality, covering clearly defined municipal tasks, further development and sustainability aspects
  • Create a legislative program and use it as a strategic steering instrument
  • Clarify and simplify the administration’s organisational structures
  • Review and define decision-making and communication processes, and clearly establish individual responsibilities and duties
  • Build a culture of project management
  • Define and regularly reassess the need for specialist skills, leaders and personnel

In this context, the municipality’s human resources and skills management function should be embedded at the strategic level; agility and innovation are closely linked to organisational culture at the municipal level.

Our services

We can support you in implementing more agile administrative structures and in developing your vision and change projects. Trust in our expertise in the areas of governance, organisation and public finances. We’re also on hand to advise you on the regulatory and financial matters that can be affected by these developments.

Thanks to strong links with external service providers skilled on the technical side of building smart infrastructure, BDO offers a holistic approach that addresses your needs in the area of Smart Cities.