This new model of Smart City 3.0 still needs the support and investment of politicians and private companies.
The Smart City concept has been modified and is no longer the same as it was five years ago. In fact, the very definition of Smart Cities has passed through various phases that have changed its essence. Something very similar happened to other disruptive technologies, such as the Internet: 1.0, 2.0 ... but, what have the phases of Smart Cities been?
• The first version, Smart City 1.0, refers to a city transformed by technology, a technology capable of providing efficient services. This vision is the most well-known and was very successful in attracting technology companies, which were the ones that led the process. However, technology prevailed on the previous definition of its usefulness, and this definition attracted many critics.
• Later, a new type came about: Smart Cities 2.0, in which leadership is assumed by the cities themselves, as well as their political leaders. Politicians, with the collaboration of municipal technicians, created a long-term vision in which technology was one of the key pieces to improving citizens’ quality of life. Today many of the cities that lead the Smart City Industry, such as Valencia, belong to this category. A good example of the technology used during this stage are the video cameras installed in cities to prevent crime.
Most cities that are classified as "smart" today are Smart Cities 2.0, such as Barcelona, with more than 100 active projects: Wifi in public spaces, intelligent lighting, electric vehicle charging, etc.
• Recently, however, we have seen the introduction of Smart Cities 3.0 in which, instead of relying on technology companies or municipal officials, its inhabitants are the ones who participate actively in the creation of each Smart City 3.0. Some people can detect the real needs of a population and work collaboratively to solve these problems through effective and low cost solutions supported by new technologies.
Smart Cities 3.0: Viena and Vancouver
A good example of a Smart City 3.0 is Vienna, where many of its projects have the support and investment of citizens, such as the creation of local solar plants for the town.
Another good example is Vancouver, which was assisted by 30,000 citizens for co-creation of a plan of action to become the “greenest city” by 2020.
Nevertheless, this new model of Smart City 3.0 still needs the support and investment of politicians and private companies. Perhaps in the future we will discover a new advancement in the Smart City concept, surpassing Smart City 3.0 to Smart City 4.0, where the collaboration between citizens, political leaders and technology companies becomes a reality.