Why citizens must drive smart city transformations

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WHEN cities begin to struggle with overpopulation, vehicular traffic, and pollution or face a resource crunch such as difficulties managing its power or water, it needs to evolve and transform into a smart city. And although several cities around the world have either crossed or are about to cross the threshold where they have no choice but to evolve, there's a lack of momentum in the transformation efforts. But governments and municipal boards can't just pick up the baton and make choices for citizens about what needs to happen and what their collective future will look like – it's got to be a collaborative effort. And citizens must be involved. According to Gartner, smart city initiatives are no longer about optimized traffic patterns, parking management, efficient lighting and improvements to public works; It's all about citizen engagement.