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The Potential for Knowledge Management in Smart Cities

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The Potential for Knowledge Management in Smart Cities

Jun 22, 2021   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Alicia Thompson


In an age that is ushering in a more tech-focused society, smart cities are becoming standout initiatives for both governments and private sectors worldwide. In an effort to beautify cities, increase their accessibility, and improve general resources and sustainability in urbanized territories, cities are combining information and communication technology (ICT) with data infrastructure.

The ideal smart city, according to the IMD Smart City Index, balances “economic and technological aspects with humane dimensions.” Leading the field here on a global scale is Singapore, closely followed by Zurich and Oslo. Following the success of these cities, there is much to be gleaned from their data – and that is where the true benefit of knowledge management comes into play.

The Scope of Knowledge Management

But first, what is knowledge management? Knowledge management, as defined here by Zach Wahl, President and CEO of Enterprise Knowledge, is a process that “involves the people, process, culture, and enabling technologies necessary to capture, manage, share, and find information.” In community or team setting, this allows leaders to accurately assess public perception, address immediate needs, and make long-term predictions.

Because there is still room for growth in the arena of creating smart cities, the functionality of knowledge management works two-fold. On one hand, it allows local government units to efficiently approach the transition into a fully smart city via an expansive database. Currently, LGUs are able to assess the current state of their tech capabilities and accessibility then determine their strategy. As they start implementing initiatives based on this roadmap, any results from these can be studied and then added back to centralized database. This continuous chain reaction can be repeated an infinite number of times, so any new KM strategies will always be an enhanced version of its predecessor and so on.

Potential Applications in a Smart City

Effectively using knowledge management can greatly increase the success rate for developing smart cities and ensuring a smoother adoption. To further elaborate on the possibility of evolving knowledge management in smart cities let’s look at smart mobility. In a post on smart mobility by Verizon Connect, it states that it is an intelligent transport and mobility network, which is a core part of future smart city design. This is because of the influx in transportation infrastructure, on-demand ride sharing services, and shifts in consumer behavior. With the right data allocation and insight collection from knowledge management, a smart mobility ecosystem can be created in a timely manner. This can avoid the riskier pitfalls of progress, like increased pollution and congestion.

Remember, the core features of a smart city are its accessibility, connectivity, and sustainability. This is how it creates one big ecosystem that responds to its citizens and its resources seamlessly. By using knowledge management at their disposal, both governments and major players in the private sector can improve the quality of life for communities by promoting alternative modes of travel and developing infrastructure that supports these new modes, such as protected bicycle lanes.

study featured in the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) reveals that context-appropriate innovations have seen the most success in different world regions shifting to smart cities. For instance, rather than implementing a generic sustainability plan, region-specific initiatives determined from knowledge management are more successful.

For instance, in countries suffering from urban air pollution and lack of safety in public spaces, such as India, the most pressing efforts are emissions and traffic. In fact, a Dalberg Advisors report in 2021 shows that poor air quality alone is a far-reaching issue that costs the country $95 billion annually. In response to these crises, data studies revealed that providing electric vehicles to combat carbon emissions, creating parking management systems to answer lack of parking and congested roads, and providing mobile apps to make public transportation payments and queuing more efficient were the most relevant solutions. The timelier and more personal the strategy, the more likely that initiatives will be supported and effective in building a smart city.

With a well-rounded approach, the application of knowledge management can also extend to health and social networks for emerging urban settings. With effective data handling, budget allocation, and consistent implementation, creating a truly smart city is a feasible reality for any region.


Article specially written for

By Alicia Thompson


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