An international brand resource for neighbourhoods, towns, cities, regions and economic clusters.

How "Smart" is your city?

Posted by Claire Matthews
The messaging and positioning experts at SmartCity Consulting – a Memphis, TN-based communications and branding firm – have come up with a comprehensive and provocative list called “Smart City Diagnostics.” Simply put, these are the 36 points that make a city dynamic, appealing and sustainable – that is, “Smart.”

Each point on the list is accompanied by a list of questions that users can ask themselves to determine if their city achieves each characteristic. As the site says, “Creating a smart city begins with asking the right questions and honestly answering them.”

Here are the major points – but don’t forget to check out the full list at the Smart City website.

Bryant Park is not only the site of NYC's famed
"Fashion Week" but also a year 'round gathering oasis in
the midst of a busy city — complete with skating rink,
outdoor eateries and heated lounge areas, carousel and
a permanent craft market.

The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight
trail line elevated above the streets on
Manhattan's West Side.

Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture on Sixth Avenue and 55th
Street in NYC is almost as iconic as the
Statue of Liberty.

  1. A Smart City makes strategic investments in its strategic assets
  2. A Smart City has a vibrant, 24-hour downtown.
  3. A Smart City uses natural and cultural assets to build a good quality of life.
  4. A Smart City integrates its universities into all aspects of life.
  5. A Smart City has a compelling national brand.
  6. A Smart City understands the big picture but pays attention to the small details.
  7. A Smart City has enlightened entrepreneurial leadership.
  8. A Smart City is attractive and rooted in a strong sense of place.
  9. A Smart City insists on balanced, sustainable growth.
  10. A Smart City attracts high human capital knowledge workers.
  11. A Smart City values creativity and welcomes new ideas.
  12. A Smart City has high quality public space.
  13. A Smart City understands its DNA.
  14. A Smart City engages its artists into the life of the city.
  15. A Smart City produces festivals that celebrate the city.
  16. A Smart City has balanced transportation options.
  17. A Smart City is good for children.
  18. A Smart City has strong, shared views.
  19. A Smart City has vibrant streets at no additional cost.
  20. A Smart City values and capitalizes on scenic resources.
  21. A Smart City is a destination that people want to visit.
  22. A Smart City embraces and relishes diversity.
  23. A Smart City takes care of the basics.
  24. A Smart City has recreational opportunities for all ages.
  25. A Smart City is a green city.
  26. A Smart City has distinctive neighbourhoods that encourage neighbourliness.
  27. A Smart City is prepared for globality.
  28. A Smart City offers its citizens varied economic opportunities.
  29. A Smart City is nationally competitive on significant factors.
  30. A Smart City is resourceful, making the most of its assets while finding solutions to problems.
  31. A Smart City has pleasurable rides.
  32. A Smart City has an outdoor living room.
  33. A Smart City thinks locally, acts regionally.
  34. A Smart City know that all economics is local.
  35. A Smart City values its first suburbs.
  36. A Smart City has a ritual event that symbolizes the values and aspirations of the community.

Smart City also has a great blog, called Smart City Memphis, which is written by company principal Tom Jones and other contributors – it has been recognized by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change as “one of the most engaging” civic-minded blogs in the US.

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Placebrand.ca© is a Taiji Brand Group project that explores the role and importance of place branding. We invite your comments and contributions at any time.