How we got to now
Building a Smart City Strategic Roadmap
In November 2016, Austin City Council passed a resolution calling for the development of a Smart City Strategic Roadmap with relevant City entities, community partners, and the technology community.
City Council asked that our strategic roadmap include the following:
- A common, Austin-centered definition of Smart Cities
- A statement of vision about Austin’s Smart Cities future
- Challenges on which we should focus and prioritize
- Potential opportunities to address those challenges
- Key goals and outcomes operationally for the City and for residents’ equitable quality of life
- An inventory of practices to consider
- Core needs, gaps, and capabilities to deliver
- Potential resources and means for partnering and financing initiatives
- A prioritized list of projects to pursue.
Around the same time, the City of Austin developed its first strategic framework in more than a decade. This framework outlines the most pressing challenges facing Austin over the next five years, and we use these challenges to frame and prioritize smart city projects. The Austin City Council adopted Strategic Direction 2023 in March 2018.
Development of the Smart City Strategic Roadmap began in 2016 through a series of workshops to frame and understand local challenges in Austin, and desk research to understand trends and case studies in the broader industry.
- Understanding existing needs and accessibility of solutions
- Transparency and responsiveness in the City’s entry point and decision making for projects
- Forming and managing public-private partnerships
- Supporting prototyping and experimenting
- Valuing data as an asset
- Investing in the right skillsets and diverse perspectives
- Considering how projects impact geographic, racial, socioeconomic, and other types of equity
- Improving the City’s procurement process
Based on this input, we drafted the first iteration of the Smart City Strategic Roadmap, which we made open for comments and edits.
Inventory of projects
As part of the Smart City Strategic Roadmap, we compiled an inventory of projects that involve the use of technology to solve real problems for real people.* We are using this information to identify and prioritize what resources and guidance the City should create or make available to help projects succeed.