WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Leaders from top cities across the United States are evaluating the Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide beta version. The Readiness Guide is a how-to manual for building tomorrow’s cities today by enabling cities to self-assess their readiness to innovate. Mayors and their smart city teams from Hartford, Dallas, Baltimore, Orlando, and Green Bay took the summer of 2013 to evaluate the Guide’s usefulness: to determine the next steps toward transformation. The Readiness Guide, created by the Smart Cities Council Advisory Board and Partners, offers a unique holistic view of a city’s future – including the built environment, energy, transportation, communications, water, health and human services, and public safety.
“As a vendor-neutral organization, the Smart Cities Council has gained our trust in their process and in their plan to help us innovate. Through the Council’s world-class partners and advisors, we will ‘learn from the best’ and build a nurturing, inspiring environment for all residents.”
“We are excited that Hartford was invited to ‘beta test’ the Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide. I have appointed my CIO to lead our Smart City team—a set of enthusiastic and talented professionals who will use the Readiness Guide as the initial planning tool for Hartford to understand where we are today and where we want to be as a leader for urban reinvention,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “As a vendor-neutral organization, the Smart Cities Council has gained our trust in their process and in their plan to help us innovate. Through the Council’s world-class partners and advisors, we will ‘learn from the best’ and build a nurturing, inspiring environment for all residents.”
The Smart Cities Council is beta testing the Readiness Guide to better tailor the framework to suit individual cities’ needs. For example, the use of smart power and water grids could drastically reduce the rising costs of utilities in Orlando and Dallas, two of the top five cities with the highest utility costs, according to the WhiteFence Index. The Readiness Guide recommends methods to reduce the rising cost of energy, to improve efficiency and reliability, and to give customers detailed information to help them reduce utility bills.
The Readiness Guide beta version was unveiled at a roundtable with mayors at the 81st Annual United States Conference of Mayors in June. It focuses on “livability, workability and sustainability” of future cities. “We’ve formed an advisory board of top experts and collaborated with our lead partners from the world’s largest technology companies to develop a comprehensive vision and roadmap for the smart cities of our future,” stated Founding Chairman Jesse Berst, “but feedback from city leaders is critical to a collaborative and successful approach.”
The Smart Cities Council will continue to work with city leaders across the U.S. to gain feedback, followed by Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Guide will be officially launched to cities worldwide at the Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona this November.
Current Smart Cities Council lead partners include: Alstrom, AT&T, Bechtel, Cisco, Electricite de France, General Electric, IBM, Itron, Microsoft, National Grid, Qualcomm, and S&C Electric. Current Smart Cities Council associate partners include: ABB, Alphinat, Grid2020, Invensys, MaxWest, Opower and Zipcar.
About Smart Cities Council
The Smart Cities Council is comprised of the foremost experts and leading global companies in the smart technologies sector, who serve as advisors and resources. Its goal is to accelerate the growth of smart cities worldwide by providing city leaders and urban planners with tools and resources, such as a Readiness Guide, financial guides, policy frameworks, and “mentoring” sessions. For more information, visit www.smartcitiescouncil.com.