Breaking Down the "State of a City"

A sharply increasing disparity in technology continues to deepen the digital divide among peer cities. In fact, smaller cities that leverage their assets, including rights of way, have the opportunity to outperform larger cities in the digital transformation. For example, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, is leveraging utilities to support smart city programs, service delivery to residents and businesses including water utilities, power utilities, and now next-generation connectivity utilities including fiber and wireless.

To begin planning for smart city success stories, an assessment of the current “state of a city” is required. To make that simple, we break down cities into different ‘types.’

Type 4 City -

  • Privately-owned public works
  • No city manager
  • No municipal water or power services

Cities can look to create a public works department internally. This is a fantastic first step.

Cities with public works will most likely need to move to a city manager system in the future as project loads increase.

How can this city type pursue smart growth?*

Type 3 City - Public works office

Fire / police

  • 1 utility (Power, Water, Analytics, Connectivity)
  • Cities should look to increase project load and increase utility control.
  • Cities should also start the process of hiring a technical city manager with strong vision.

Cities can focus on state and federal dollars at this point. How can this city type pursue smart growth?*