Governing Smart Cities: Policy Benchmarks for Ethical and Responsible Smart City Development

Governing Smart Cities: Policy Benchmarks for Ethical and Responsible Smart City Development

As cities adjust to the new post-pandemic paradigm, there is a need to focus on policies for the responsible and ethical use of technology

The report, Governing Smart Cities, provides a benchmark for cities looking to establish policies for ethical and responsible governance of their smart city programmes. It explores current practices relating to five foundational policies: ICT accessibility, privacy impact assessment, cyber accountability, digital infrastructure and open data. The findings are based on surveys and interviews with policy experts and city government officials from the Alliance’s 36 “Pioneer Cities”. The data and insights presented in the report come from an assessment of detailed policy elements rather than the high-level indicators often used in maturity frameworks.

COVID-19 has revealed the full extent of vulnerabilities of cities and urban areas in the face of large-scale disruptions. Confronted with the biggest public health crisis and economic challenges of modern times, city leaders globally are working towards improving public health infrastructure and overall responsiveness.

Smart city technologies are key to boosting recovery and building resilience to future shocks, while also driving efficiencies and improving quality of life. As cities invest in and deploy new technologies, it is imperative to implement governance policies to prevent and mitigate risks around privacy, cybersecurity, and sustainability. In an effort to help cities draw on best practices and build resilience, Deloitte has developed technological solutions, frameworks, and strategic approaches in key areas within the urban transformation sphere—including vision, governance, infrastructure, and funding among others—as well as invested in research to help cities better cope with future challenges. Further, our initiative ‘Urban Future with a Purpose’ engages key stakeholders in a discussion of important trends cities need to be aware of.

Deloitte’s current work with the World Economic Forum and the G20 Global Cities Alliance seeks to guide cities in the governance of smart technology. Following the G20 agreement in 2019, the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance was established to help cities identify and adopt foundational policies for smart city technologies. The Alliance created a policy roadmap around five core principles along with corresponding model policies as guidelines for cities.

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