Washington, D.C. — The Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition to improve the livability, workability and sustainability of the world's cities, just released a new resource to help cities understand the financing options available for technology projects. The Smart Cities Financing Guide outlines 28 of the most promising financial tools for urban infrastructure enhancements, including some techniques that do not require any upfront money from the city.
Smart Cities is a rapidly growing global movement to incorporate technology into infrastructure – such as water, power and transportation systems – to improve efficiency and enhance prosperity.
“The problem is rarely the technology, which has been proven in thousands of projects around the world,” said Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst. “So often, the biggest barrier is how to pay for it. Happily, more than two dozen creative techniques have emerged in recent years. Arizona State University was the perfect partner to develop this guide, given their international reputation for insight into municipal governments and finance.”
The Guide offers criteria for evaluating financing options and allows city leaders to differentiate which approach is best for their project and community. It also provides case studies outlining successful application of the tools.
“I have consulted with cities across the globe on smart cities strategies and financing is a frequent problem," notes Boyd Cohen, an internationally recognized smart city expert and author of the annual smart city rankings for Fast Company magazine. "This is an impressive and incredibly valuable guide that will be a great resource for city officials.”
The Guide was produced in partnership with Arizona State University with input from the Smart Cities Council’s financing committee. The University is one of six dozen top universities, national laboratories, standards bodies, climate advocacy groups and development banks that make up the Council's Advisory Board.
“Knowledge of financial instruments and the processes to engage in sustainable financing of technologies is vital, yet few know how to navigate these complexities,” said Kevin Desouza, Arizona State University’s Associate Dean for Research, College of Public Programs. “This guide provides practitioners, whether it be local governments or businesses, with an insight into the myriad of financial options that one can use to underwrite investments in smart technologies."
The Financing Guide is part of the Smart City Council’s premium resource library, which also includes the Smart Cities Readiness Guide, which provides 27 best practices for launching a smart city initiative. Recently, the Council also launched a Smart Cities Apps Gallery to showcase smartphone apps created by, and for, cities around the world. These and other materials are available at no charge after a free, 30-second registration at http://smartcitiescouncil.com/article/premium-resources-exclusive-content-scc-members.