Smart cities focus on well-being and staff as community builders who help foster trust, harmony and, indeed, happiness

Report, “Smart Cities: A Toolkit for Leaders,” urges city leaders to rethink their roles. They should see themselves not as managers of bureaucracies but as community builders who help foster trust, harmony and, indeed, happiness.  The critical first step is reimagining the role of city leaders. They should see themselves first and foremost as stewards of citizen satisfaction. Once they change their mindset and act accordingly, our cities will be on paths toward improved wellbeing, happiness, and economic vitality.Success in this new phase means that urban leaders must redefine smart city goals to meet the intrinsic needs of citizens, their greatest stakeholders. A wellbeing survey done in Connecticut showed that cities could improve the happiness of citizens in cost-effective ways by targeting a handful of quality-of-life indicators. Those include improving access to nutritious food for those most in need, strengthening transit systems and walkability, and deepening people’s relationships with government agencies. The city itself has become a platform for interacting, collaborating and co-creating with citizens. 

A warning for cities: Become citizen-centric or fail: To achieve citizen satisfaction, city leaders need to follow blueprints that put people at the center of their thinking and planning. By Seeta Hariharan, Smart Cities Dive, Feb. 13, 2019