What is a Smart City?
Course Overview 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. Furthermore, a smart city must consider equity issues, and economic disparities. Of course, a smart city also is cognizant of privacy and cybersecurity issues. 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. Course Requirements Students must read the assignments in advance of class and come to class prepared to discuss them. Readings will be available on canvas from books, journals, media and other sources. Students will be advised to purchase a few of the books. Also, we will have guest speakers in several of our classes, and students must come to class prepared to engage with them. Class participation, oral presentations, writing and team work will be important in this class. Two short papers in the form of memoranda will be due during the semester. Students will be able to choose their own course related topics with the approval of the professor. Also, each student will present the second memo to the class. Additionally, each student will write a global city summary and lead the class discussion regarding the city. There will not be a midterm or a final; instead, students will participate in team research projects with public, nonprofit or private sector entities that will have written and an oral components.