- The City of Philadelphia's Office of Innovation and Technology officially established a SmartCityPHL advisory committee and unveiled its SmartCityPHL Roadmap on Monday.
- The smart city roadmap highlights three core strategies: building a strong foundation of policy and infrastructure; creating a strategic process for engagement and partnership; and supporting and sustaining implementation of projects and programs with funding.
- The SmartCityPHL initiative was originally established in 2017 and has been supported by a $200,000 investment from the Knight Foundation, which serves as a key partner on the city's placemaking and engagement projects.
Since Philadelphia first launched itself into the smart cities space in 2017, it has been strategic in establishing a "look before you leap" approach to identifying the needs of the city. Instead of simply investing in common "smart" technologies and innovative policies, the city turned to the community for a series of engagement workshops and brainstorming sessions that helped form the long-anticipated roadmap.
"We're bringing people from all different sectors — our community members, as well as our research institutions, the startup and entrepreneur community and of course our corporate community," Ellen Hwang, assistant director of strategic initiatives for SmartCityPHL, told Smart Cities Dive in a 2017 interview. "[They] are completely on board and looking at how to give back and bring along our marginalized communities so investment isn't just in downtown, but it’s really happening throughout our neighborhoods outside of center city."
The city was also strategic in developing a smart city advisory committee before leaping into large projects. The roadmap identifies the governance structure as "the most important foundational element to smart city success," and outlines the important roles that everyone, from the smart city director to the financing and data subcommittees, will play in smart city initiatives.
Data initiatives will play a particularly large role in the city's overall strategy, and will include projects to assess the city's litter conditions, vacant properties and utility bill management, among other topics. The roadmap outlines efforts to formalize a master data strategy that will be key to delivering more efficient services to communities; efforts to create this strategy will be made in Q2 of this year.