Craft and support an argument either for or against community (a city) investments in smart city technologies.


Case Study – Smart City Technologies


Read the Case Study information and Watch the 2 videos below.  As you watch the videos, consider the cost of smart city technologies for residents vs. the benefits gained. How long is the time period estimated to receive a positive Return on Investment (if ever)? Are the benefits directly attributable to the citizens who foot the bill or are the benefits at a more macro level such as a state, country, or the world? Using what you’ve learned, do the following:

  1. Craft and support an argument either for or against community (a city) investments in smart city technologies.
  2. Additionally, identify the most useful smart technology from a citizen’s perspective (from the case study only) and explain why it provides the best benefit to the taxpayer.
  3. Identify the most useful smart technology from a government perspective (from the case study only) and explain whether it provides any direct benefit to the taxpayer. Does the city government’s interest justify expending funds on this technology considering the benefit to the taxpayer?


Be sure to fully support your positions (in both parts A, B, & C) with at least 3 external sources (total) – these sources can be used to support any of your three arguments, but the textbook is not considered an external source.

Be sure to properly cite all sources and provide a bibliography.

Videos: to an external site.


A “smart city” is a city where the day-to-day processes and the infrastructure of the city are able to provide real-time data to the city and its citizens, allowing them to better allocate resources and plan for the future.

Smart cities can be identified using six dimensions: a smart economy, smart mobility, a smart environment, smart people, smart living, and smart governance. Cities are “smart” when investments in social capital and infrastructure coupled with wise management of natural resources fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life.

Smart cities focus on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Wireless sensor networks are one type of ICT. The goal of wireless sensor networks is to create a distributed network of sensors which measure a host of parameters that allow city management to run their city more efficiently. Ideally, ICTs will help increase local prosperity and competitiveness.

For example, citizens of smart cities can monitor pollution concentration on their specific street, and trash cans can send signals when they are close to full. Vehicle traffic and street light usage can be monitored to optimize city lights dynamically.

In smart cities, people have the tools to quickly and easily get the data they need to make smarter choices about their energy consumption. All the data in the world is useless without information systems than effectively communicate that data to users. Using IBM technologies, Dubuque was able to determine how much water was saved by decreased consumption and leak detection, as well as precise information about how much electricity individual appliances are consuming.

Users don’t see the back end infrastructure underlying these ICT technologies, which are increasingly depending on the cloud. Using the cloud has made these technologies integrated and, more importantly, cheap enough for cities like Dubuque to use to their fullest extent. They also don’t see the sheer amount of data that they are generating, because IBM’s systems distill that data into smaller chunks of relevant information that allows Dubuque’s citizens to live smarter.

In Portland, IBM created a model that allows city leaders to simulate the impacts of changes to various utilities. They collected ten years of data and built a model that supports the development of new metrics and identifies drivers of change for the city’s strategic plan. Using this data, Portland city officials hope to achieve a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050.