Fall 2016 - 60713 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

What is a Smart City?

What is a Smart City?  This seminar course will begin by delving into the many answers to that question and into the various definitions of a smart city.  Generally, the smart city definitions involve some combination of using information and communication technologies to improve residents’ quality of life by delivering better city services.

Smart city components can include issues such as the following: smart energy, smart mobility, smart land use, smart healthcare, smart governance and smart public engagement. Concepts include the use of sensors, connected vehicles, open data, predictive analytics, Internet of Things, healthcare innovation and economic development. Often, people use the term smart city in conjunction with the terms digital city, connected city, and civic innovation. The European Union smart city model has the following six characteristics: smart governance, smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart people and smart living.

This survey course will cover all aspects of a smart city.  We will examine the academic literature and current thinking regarding smart cities. Additionally, we will analyze smart city initiatives across the United States and across the globe - from Kansas City to New York to London to Vienna to Sao Paulo to Hong Kong – and many others.  Students will have the opportunity to interact with guest speakers from the public sector including the City of Austin and the Dell Medical School, as well as private and nonprofit entities, including Dell, IBM, AT&T, Capital Factory, Upstream and Mission Capital. Furthermore, students will be introduced to smart city methods such as design thinking.