Washington, D.C. — Rapid urbanization, aging infrastructure, climate change and strong economic competition are just some of the challenges that are forcing cities to become smarter. To help them address these challenges, the Smart Cities Council launched the latest version of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide at its inaugural Smart Cities Week event – North America’s first major smart cities conference and expo. The Guide is the world’s leading framework for government leaders to enhance the livability, workability and sustainability of their cities. To date, the Guide has been downloaded by thousands of city leaders and other stakeholders from around the world.

Designed with input from leading smart city and urban planning experts as well as top global technology companies, the vendor-neutral guide enables city leaders to assess their current state of technology and their readiness to become a smart city. Originally launched in 2013, it includes a collection of guidelines, best practices and more than 100 case studies to help cities make faster and better decisions for constructing a smart city roadmap and selecting the necessary technologies to get the most from their investments. The new version triples the number of case studies and includes a new chapter on waste management, sections on the new ISO 37120 Smart City standard, more emphasis on the important role that citizens play, and other additions and improvements. 

“Smart cities are vital for a sustainable future,” said Jesse Berst, Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. “The Guide allows leaders to quickly learn from the world’s leading smart cities experts – people who know how to get results because they have been on the ground actually leading smart cities projects around the world.”

Sabina Sitaru, CIO for the City of Hartford, Conn., is one who has done just that. “Utilizing the Readiness Guide allowed our city to benchmark our progress and break down the barriers for Hartford to become a smart city,” she said. “Through the guidance and vendor partnerships of the Smart Cities Council, we were able to construct a roadmap, launch an open data initiative and work on several major projects for public safety, traffic and bringing fiber to every home and business.”

The Readiness Guide is used as the framework for Smart Cities Readiness Workshops being hosted by the Smart Cities Council around the world, from Seattle to Mauritius, Africa.

The Guide is available to download for free at http://smartcitiescouncil.com/resources/smart-cities-readiness-guide.