Previously, I wrote about ICT and efficiencies in the cities of the future. But technology is also increasing government and citizen interaction. Already many governments in developed economies are asking for citizen feedback on specific policies and schemes, and trying to fine-tune them based on the voice of the customer. For cities of the future, citizen participation will not be optional but an imperative.
There is also a related movement towards responsible citizenship. Citizens are increasingly conscious of their choices and how these affect the larger ecosystem. At Earth Hour, for instance, millions go green for the collective good. Can such approaches be made more dynamic and personalized where, on a continuous basis, each citizen is given the information and choices to take the right decisions for the individual and collective good? To enable such a future, governments will need to create models of citizens and collect various types of citizen data so that such personalization is possible. There are sure to be privacy concerns. However, with the adoption of mobile technologies and social media platforms, citizens are already sharing a lot of information. I think citizens may be open to sharing information about themselves if they trust that it will not be misused and will be for the collective good.
Cities today need to identify and develop a system of management for the key life processes of an urban dweller, and the system must be agile and adaptable to the changes happening. These processes must be managed taking into account applicable government policies and the citizen’s lifestyle.
These are just a few of the new ideas and there are many more ideas we can apply, influenced from the world of CRM, social media, and Analytics. We are witnessing cities – especially in the developed world – implementing parts of this thinking and in specific domains. There could be value in broadening this to encompass all these new ideas.
What could be some of the additional benefits that this new thinking can provide to the city governments and citizens?
K Ananth Krishnan, VP and Chief Technology Officer, TCS