Smart Cities Case Study

Many government institutions are investing in a variety of technologies to improve the efficiency of government services and to enhance the quality of life for their residents1. These technologies include sensors, data analytics, and cloud-based applications that can help government officials make more informed decisions and better serve their constituents. The intersection of these technologies is facilitating the development of “smart cities,” where data and technology are driving innovative strategies to support the digitization and enhancement of operations for resiliency, and to enable optimizations in governance and policy development2.

Challenge

For this case competition, you will:

  1. Select a government institution of your choosing (city, town, or county, as examples).
  2. Analyze an area (from the case study topics below) where the government institution can improve (using public documentation/data from a government institution to support your analysis).
  3. Offer recommendations for how smart city technologies can help address the challenges that a government institution faces.

Participants are advised to locate the strategic plan, and any supporting documentation that is appropriate, for a government institution of their choosing. That way, they first familiarize themselves with what is currently being done so that the analysis and recommendations for smart city technologies are specific, in alignment with the respective government strategic plan, and supported by research. 

Tip for finding a strategic plan for a government institution: Navigate to www.google.com -> search for (insert name of city, town, or county here) + strategic plan + .pdf. Example: https://www.google.com/search?q=Miami+Dade+County+Strategic+Plan+.pdf. Note: if you are unable to find a strategic plan for the current year, you are welcome to use the most recent one that is available, or documentation of a similar nature. 

Case Study Topic Choices:

Note: The questions below within each case study topic are meant to inspire and help guide your analysis. They should not be limited to those specific ones.
1. Efficiency and productivity: Government employees should be able to work together seamlessly across departments, as well as be able to access data and resources quickly and easily. This can pose a challenge for government institutions (as well as non-government organizations in general). Additionally, integrating smart city technologies into existing business processes can pose a challenge – from both a policy and regulatory perspective. 

  • What challenges exist for efficiency and productivity for the selected government institution? 
  • How can data be effectively shared between different government departments and agencies with smart city initiatives? 
  • How can government services be optimized to improve efficiency and productivity, while supporting smart city technologies? 
  • How can residents be engaged in the smart city concept to aid with efficiency and productivity? 
  • What policies or regulations can support or stunt efficiency and productivity in relation to smart cities?
2. Communication and collaboration: A challenge in smart cities in government is the lack of standardization around terminology, data formats, and protocols. This can make it difficult for different agencies and departments to share information and work together effectively. Another challenge is that the sheer volume of data that is generated by smart city initiatives may be overwhelming, and it can make it difficult to identify patterns and trends, and to make decisions about which data is most important to collect and share with residents. Additionally, a lack of a common platform to be used by all parties (government officials and residents) can make it a challenge to be informed and easily exchange information and ideas.
  • What challenges exist for communication and collaboration for the selected government institution?
  • How can government officials effectively communicate with residents in a smart city? 
  • How can different government departments and agencies effectively collaborate with their own smart city technologies? 
  • How can government officials effectively communicate with each other to support smart city efforts? 
  • What benefits surface from advancements in communication and collaboration with smart cities?
3. Enhanced safety and security: A key challenge in emergency management is integrating various systems and data sources to create a comprehensive picture of what is happening in real time. This can include everything from dispatching of emergency services, traffic conditions, and even posts on social media. Additionally, a challenge exists with ensuring that government employees and residents have the necessary training and awareness to use smart city technologies effectively. 
  • What challenges exist for safety and security for the selected government institution?
  • How can government officials leverage smart city technologies to ensure the safety of residents? 
  • How can city officials ensure the security of data generated from smart city technologies? 
  • How can city officials ensure the security of infrastructure that support smart city initiatives? 
  • What limitations, if any, exist for current smart city technologies that support safety and security?
4. Transportation and infrastructure: As populations grow, the demand for transportation and infrastructure services increases. This can put a strain on existing resources and make it difficult to keep up with demand. Another challenge is the lack of standardized platforms that can manage data and connect different devices, and systems, so that officials can collect and analyze data, as well as implement policies and programs based on that data. Funding can also pose a challenge as infrastructure can be costly. 
  • What challenges exist for transportation and infrastructure for the selected government institution?
  • What can smart transportation and smart infrastructure do to address common transportation challenges? 
  • How can government officials use smart transportation and smart city infrastructure to improve the quality of life for residents? 
  • What are some of the challenges associated with implementing smart transportation and infrastructure? 
  • How can government institutions overcome these challenges and realize the full benefits of smart transportation and infrastructure within a smart city? 
5. Sustainability: Creating and implementing policies that support sustainable practices can be a challenge as sustainability policies can be costly to implement, and there may be resistance from the community if they are viewed as being too disruptive. Another challenge is measuring the impact of sustainability policies, which can be difficult to do accurately. 
  • What challenges for sustainability exist for the selected government institution?
  • How can smart city technologies aid sustainability? 
  • How will smart city technology impact the future of sustainability? 
  • How can smart city technologies help support environmental initiatives?
  • What limitations exist with smart city technologies in supporting environmental and sustainability initiatives?

What is it that my team and I will need to submit?

    1. A Word document summarizing the team’s analysis and findings to be submitted by Tuesday, February 28th.
      1. Formatting requirements: double spaced lines, size 12 font, APA format without an abstract.
      2. Content requirements (narrative of overall analysis/findings to not exceed 5 pages in length, excluding the title page, references, and the appendix):
        1. A title page which specifies the name of the participants and the topic chosen (does not contribute to the total page count)
        2. An executive summary
        3. Narrative of overall analysis/findings (tables and graphics that support the analysis can be included here, or in the appendix. If referencing tables and graphics in the overall analysis/findings section, please include a reference to where this can be found in the appendix. Including tables/graphics in the narrative of the overall analysis/findings contributes to the total page count)
        4. References (APA format, does not contribute to the total page count)
        5. Appendix (does not contribute to the total page count)
    2. Finalists will be notified by Monday, March 6th and will be required to submit a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the team’s analysis and findings by March 28th, in preparation for a 10–15-minute presentation in front of a judging panel at the AIS (Association for Information Systems) SCLC on March 30th

    What happens after you submit:

    1. You will receive a confirmation email acknowledging your entry.
    2. Finalists will be notified by email on Monday, March 6th.
    3. Finalists will present their work in front of the judging panel at the AIS SCLC on Thursday, March 30th.

    Resources

    While you are welcome to choose any government institution for your submission for the case competition on smart cities, the following resources are provided to aid with forming ideas around the subject:

    Data Examples

    Examples of Supporting Documentation

    General Resources on Smart Cities

    Visualization and Infographic Tools

    Competition Rules

    • Teams are limited to 4 members.
    • The project submission must be entirely the work of the student team. While faculty and other individuals can help review the submission, they should not contribute to the content of the report or the solution.
    • Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
    • The contest materials must be submitted by the due dates. Late submissions will not be accepted, and no extensions will be given.

    Prizes

    First place: $2,000 per team

    Second place: $1,000 per team

    Third place: $500 per team

     

    Please contact ais@fiu.edu with questions about this competition.

    Judging Criteria

    Quality of the analysis/solution proposed (Word document submission evaluation criteria):


    Criteria

    Exceeds Expectations

    Meets Expectations

    Needs Improvement

    Inadequate

    Novelty/creativity/innovativeness

    4 – The team demonstrated an original and potentially unexpected approach to the analysis and/or proposal of solution(s).

    3 – The team demonstrated a mostly original approach to the analysis and/or proposal of the solution(s).

    2 – The team demonstrated a mostly original approach to the analysis and/or proposal of the solution(s), with several elements that were not particularly innovative.

    1 - The team developed an unoriginal approach to the analysis and/or proposal of the solution(s), with few or no elements of innovation.

    Insight

    4 – The team provided interesting and meaningful findings and interpretations.

    3 – The team provided mostly interesting and meaningful findings and interpretations.

    2 – The team provided somewhat uninteresting findings and weak interpretations. 

    1 – The team provided uninteresting or weak findings and interpretations.

    Relevance

    4 – The team’s analysis relates to the problem statement and utilizes the appropriate tools and techniques.

    3 – The team’s analysis mostly relates to the problem statement and utilizes mostly appropriate tools and techniques but may have some areas of irrelevance.

    2 – The team’s analysis is somewhat unrelated to the problem statement, and/or utilizes inappropriate tools and techniques, with several areas of irrelevance.

    1 – The team’s analysis is unrelated to the problem statement and/or utilizes inappropriate tools and techniques, with numerous areas of irrelevance.

    Scope

    4 – The team incorporated an adequate amount and variety of data analysis and/or research used appropriately in the solution proposal(s).

    3 – The team incorporated a mostly adequate amount and variety of data analysis and/or research but may have had a few minor areas where more research or data was needed, or the data or the research was not utilized as effectively as it could have been.

    2 – The team incorporated a somewhat inadequate amount or variety of data analysis and/or research, with several areas where more data or research was needed or where the data or the research was not utilized effectively. 

    1 – The team incorporated an inadequate amount or variety of data analysis and/or research with numerous areas where more data or research was needed or where the data or research was used ineffectively. 

    Utility

    4 – The team drew accurate conclusions and were clear about the implications for the proposal.

    3 – The team drew mostly accurate conclusions and were mostly clear about the implications for the proposal but may have had a few instances of inaccuracy or unclearness.

    2 – The team drew somewhat inaccurate conclusions and/or were unclear about the implications for the proposal, with several areas of inaccuracy or unclearness.

    1 – The team drew inaccurate conclusions and/or were unclear about the implications for the proposal, with numerous areas of inaccuracy or unclearness.


    Quality of the presentation of the analysis and/or solution (PowerPoint + presentation):

    If a team is selected as a finalist, they will be required to present and will be evaluated per the following rubric. The following rubric will be used to determine the winners of the overall competition.

    Criteria

    Exceeds Expectations

    Meets Expectations

    Needs Improvement

    Inadequate

    Clarity

    4 – The presentation and analysis provided a well-organized, complete, and clear description of the approach taken, research conducted, data utilized, and conclusions reached.

    3 – The presentation and analysis provided a generally clear description of the approach taken, research conducted, data utilized, and conclusions reached, but may have had a few minor areas of confusion.

    2- The presentation and analysis provided a somewhat unclear description of the approach taken, research conducted, data utilized, and conclusions reached, with several areas of confusion.

    1 – The presentation and analysis provided an unclear description of the approach taken, research conducted, data utilized, and conclusions reached, with numerous areas of confusion.

    Consistency

    4 – The presentation and analysis delivered conclusions and proposed solution(s) that were logically and reasonably consistent with the data analysis and research conducted.

    3 – The presentation and analysis delivered conclusions and proposed solution(s) that were mostly logically and reasonably consistent with the data analysis and research conducted. 

    2 – The presentation and analysis delivered conclusions and proposed solution(s) that were somewhat inconsistent with the data analysis and research conducted, with several inconsistencies.

    1 – The presentation and analysis delivered conclusions and proposed solution(s) that were inconsistent with the data analysis and research conducted, with numerous inconsistencies.

    Quality and Effectiveness

    4 – The presentation and analysis utilized suitable visuals and delivery styles that work together to create a convincing and compelling narrative.

    3 – The presentation and analysis utilized mostly suitable visuals and delivery style, to create a somewhat convincing and compelling narrative.

    2 – The presentation and analysis utilize somewhat unsuitable visuals and delivery style that inadequately create a convincing and compelling narrative.

    1 – The presentation and analysis are of poor quality and do not effectively communicate the intended message.

    Engagement

    4 – Multiple team members presented. Overall, the team members exhibited command of the topic and a sense of passion and enthusiasm for the ideas presented.

    3 – Multiple team members presented, but some team members may have struggled to command the topic or show passion and enthusiasm for the ideas presented.

    2 – Not all team members presented, and the team struggled to command the topic or show passion and enthusiasm for the ideas presented.

    1 – Not all team members presented, and the team did not show command of the topic or passion or enthusiasm for the ideas presented. 

    Documentation

    4 – The team identified all sources of data and research and provided links to data sources and other documents, with all supporting research properly cited.

    3 – The team identified sources of data and research and provided links to data sources and other documents but may have had a few minor errors in citations.

    2 – The team identified most sources of data and research and provided links to some data sources and documents but had several errors in citations.

    1 – The team did not identify all sources of data and research and provided few or no links to data sources or documents, with numerous errors in citations.