What Is a Smart City?

Some smart city advocates emphasize efforts to engage and connect with residents, others emphasize infrastructure. But the general goal — something no city has yet achieved — is to collect immediate data on everything from traffic patterns to home water use, analyze it, and use that information to make the city work better.
“We have some cities moving in that direction, but a lot more doing little one-offs, really,” said Stephen Goldsmith of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a former mayor of Indianapolis and former deputy mayor of New York.
Advocates say smart city technology will save cities money and energy, while better connecting cities and citizens. The White House announced $160 million in spending to research and develop smart city technology.