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Bootstrapping smart cities through a self-sustainable model based on big data flows

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6 Author(s)

We have a clear idea today about the necessity and usefulness of making cities smarter, the potential market size, and trials and tests. However, it seems that business around Smart Cities is having difficulties taking off and is thus running short of projected potentials. This article looks into why this is the case and proposes a procedure to make smart cities happen based on big data exploitation through the API stores concept. To this end, we first review involved stakeholders and the ecosystem at large. We then propose a viable approach to scale business within that ecosystem. We also describe the available ICT technologies and finally exemplify all findings by means of a sustainable smart city application. Over the course of the article, we draw two major observations, which are seen to facilitate sustainable smart city development. First, independent smart city departments (or the equivalent) need to emerge, much like today's well accepted IT departments, which clearly decouple the political element of the improved city servicing from the underlying technologies. Second, a coherent three-phase smart city rollout is vital, where in phase 1 utility and revenues are generated; in phase 2 only-utility service is also supported; and in phase 3, in addition, a fun/leisure dimension is permitted.

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 6 )