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  • Bobbi Harris

Smart City: A Balanced Definition

Recently, I have been asked about the definition of a Smart City. I explain that a smart city can have multiple starting places and usually the definition (which is evolving) includes core components, such as: energy, smart grid, water, wastewater, transportation, communications, education, conservation, renewables, green building, data analytics, etc. But this explanation doesn’t always satisfy my inquirer, so I have decided to dedicate this blog to the topic: What does Smart Cities mean?

In a word: Balance.


I submit that Smart Cities is to the earth as Tai Chi is to the body. Don’t leave yet…

Tai Chi is designed to build strength, improve health and flexibility, reduce stress, increase energy flow, promote health and wellness, and relax your mind. To balance the body in total.


Similarly, Smart Cities are designed to strengthen infrastructure, improve resilience of the grid, reduce stress on natural resources, increase energy sources, promote consumer education and health, and to bring sustainability to the future. To balance supply and demand.


Why do I make this comparison? Because technology alone cannot solve our cities’ challenges. Cities require a holistic approach and partnerships working in harmony to solve the growing trials that face them. Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise for the body and the mind. There is no quick fix for our environment either. A city must take nimble, responsive measures as they plan for the future. City leaders must learn to partner, prepare and plan in a slow, focused manner and just like in Tai Chi, this should be accompanied by deep breathing.


Smart Cities standards are not yet develop fully and there is no “check list” for becoming a Smart City. It requires only a noncompetitive, self-paced system of physical changes and mental stretching beyond the boundaries of past infrastructure. As with Tai Chi, each movement flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your city is in constant motion.


Namaste, mother earth.


Also Published on Energy Central: http://live-smart-cities.pantheon.io/smart-city-balanced-definition/

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