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Research Participants

  • Oklahoma State University Research Foundation
  • National Energy Solutions Institute
  • Smart Energy Source, LLC
  • Power Support, LLC
  • Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Economic Development

Contents of Report

I. Community Critical Systems (Infrastructure)
A. Smart Water
B. Smart Transportation
C. Smart Grid
D. Smart IT Network
E. Recycling

II. Land Use

A. Land-use Smart Community Framework Zones
B. Land Use Typologies
C. Smart Community Development Types
D. Smart Community Development Control

III. Smart Buildings
A. Building Information Systems
B. Connecting People and Technology
C. Smart Applications to Economics
D. Smart Grid
E. Intelligent Future

IV. Distributed Generation Business Applications
A. Progressive Resources Energy Park
B. Financial Modeling
C. Policies and Procedures
D. Curriculum – Skill and Competency Requirements

Smart Urban Development

Smart Community Source represents a recognition of how technology is transforming the core systems of traditional communities. Today, communities are facing a range of challenges that threaten the sustainability of strong, viable economic models and the foundational means for quality of life. The urbanization of our country has significant implications on rural America as we now know it, and the survival of many communities will only be ensured by closing the technology gap between the “haves” and “have nots.” Today, we are seeing technology grow at a rapid pace, what is regarded as exponential growth, resulting in disruption to organizations and increasingly to our communities.

America has grown even more urban. According to numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 80.7 percent of the U.S. population lived in urban areas as of the 2010 Census, a boost from the 79 percent counted in 2000.

Frost & Sullivan research estimates a combined market potential of $1.5 trillion globally for the smart city market in segments of energy, transportation, healthcare, building, infrastructure, and governance. If one compares that to GDP of nations in 2014, it will be above the GDP of Spain, thus making it the 12th largest GDP in the world. Yet, while the potential is huge, the challenge faced is finding funding and developing the right business model because many cities in the Western world do not have the finances available to take on some mammoth-sized projects that will be required to develop smart communities. The research also points out that four main models will emerge, through which companies will engage with city authorities and utilities to tap into this market. The models are:  Build Own Operate (BOO), Build Operate Transfer (BOT), Build Operate Manage (BOM) and Open Business Model (OBM).

Communities are being empowered by technology as many of the core systems become digitized and interconnected enabling new levels of intelligence. Perhaps the most critical challenge of all is to capture this intelligence and use “smart” technology to become smarter in urban development. 

Smart Community Challenges and Forecast

The International Data Corporation list the top ten challenges facing communities:

  1. Smart city maturity – Cities will seek performance standards to benchmark and track their progress.
  2. Emerging economies – IDC expects smart city IT investment to grow significantly, driven by innovations in China, India and the Gulf states investment in high-tech infrastructure.
  3. Internet of Things – By 2018, researchers believe local government investment in IoT initiatives will represent more than 25 percent of all government external spending in the area.
  4. Resilience – Severe weather concerns will drive collaboration between public safety and sustainability programs, including a 30 percent hike in urban predictive IT investments by 2018.
  5. Sourcing innovation – IDC sees new tech procurement techniques generating a 25 percent growth in collaborative city operations over the next few years.
  6. Civic clouds – Nearly one-fourth of cities will be using shared cloud services for data management by 2018.
  7. Third platform architecture – Seventy percent of city CIOs will lack an information architecture strategy for cloud, analytics and connected devices in 2015.
  8. Data strategy – IDC predicts that 25 percent of mid-size cities should have “whole-of-city” data and analytic strategies rolled out in the next three years.
  9. Chief digital officers – The number of chief digital officers should grow fivefold in cities and counties by 2018.
  10. Civic tech – U.S. state and local governments will invest approximately $6.3 billion in civic engagement technologies in 2015.


NESI-SES Research Questions Addressed

This NESI-SES research project will analyze five focus areas that we refer to as research pillars:

  • Shaping Policy
  • Advancing Technologies
  • Engaging Stakeholders
  • Enabling Solutions
  • Building Skills/Competencies

Research Questions Addressed

In addition to the challenges identified by the IDC research, communities will be faced with addressing the following questions:

  1. What investments will be required by existing legacy infrastructure to make it smart?
  2. How will we finance smart technologies and determine ROI for the tax payers?
  3. Where does a framework for developing a master plan exist?
  4. How will the current business model or business models within city government be impacted?
  5. What will be the technical constraints and how can we build the capacity to meet the smart community demands?
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