What is a SMART CITY?

While there are varied definitions of what a smart city is, essentially the smart city concept is about addressing the current challenges of citizens of a city, using ICT (information and communication technology) enabled infrastructure, particularly as it is applied to the economy, mobility and the environment (including safety and security). The backbone of a smart city is access to and utilisation of data.

The objective of a smart city is sustainable development that results in improved quality of life and well being of all citizens. Therefore, the role of the citizen both in identifying / conceptualising and configuring solutions is at the heart of the smart city concept. The smart city concept provides an opportunity for both established and emerging entrepreneurs to develop solutions to identified challenges.

The Smart city approach requires the public and private sectors to come together with communities, including Non-Governmental Organisations, to define the developmental challenges of the region and to develop smart (i.e. digitally-based) effective solutions to these challenges.

What is Nelson Mandela Bay SMART CITY?

The Nelson Mandela Bay SMART CITY initiative seeks to develop a smart city in Nelson Mandela Bay based on a partnership approach, to address social and economic challenges prevalent in Nelson Mandela Bay.

On 27 March 2017, 50 representatives of civil society, Non-Governmental Organisations, local government, government agencies, the University and other academic institutions and organised business actively participated in The First Conversation. Propella Business Incubator hosted this conversation in partnership with the Kamva Leadership Institute and the Regional Innovation Forum, at Propella Business Incubator in Humerail, Port Elizabeth.

Robust dialogue was the order of the day, as participants were eager to share ideas to shape the Nelson Mandela Bay SMART CITY concept, guided by four keys questions:

  • What current strategies and projects are in place or planned in Nelson Mandela Bay that contribute to a SMART CITY?
  • What target groups will be involved and / or benefit?
  • Dream with a Deadline: What does Nelson Mandela Bay as a SMART CITY look like and by when?
  • What contribution can you make to the SMART CITY movement?

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