Why Smart City Development Requires Startups like Parksen

As is often an issue with governmental and municipal projects, Smart City development is hindered by uncoordinated approaches and a lack of proper funding. Even the most willing policy makers and city officials run into these recurring roadblocks, and as a result we see individual tech companies fighting over scraps without successfully creating solutions that make a lasting difference.

Something that is often overlooked is the fact that not two cities are the same. A solution that would make a difference in Japan could very mean nothing in terms of improvement in Vietnam, for instance. Moreover, a city like Tokyo has much more capital at their disposal for experimentation than Suzhou.

Different Cities, Different Needs

So how can Smart City developers and affiliated companies make the right decision? The Harvard Business Review wrote an article outlining four different segments, dividing cities based on their age and the state of their economy.

Carefully theorizing the desires from citizens in legacy cities with a developed economy like London (elitist society calling for solutions that improve the quality of life without added government expense) to legacy cities with emerging economies like Mumbai (society calling for solutions that increase the usefulness of existing infrastructure), the article thoroughly explains how these different cities require different solutions.

Research and Funding

Parksen is aware of the fact that these cities require different approaches, which is why they have already taken several trips to explore the political and economical landscape of the cities they aim to approach for the initial pilot projects. From China to the European Parliament, proper research into the desires and needs of these metropolises is one of our top priorities.

Then finally, there’s the question of who picks up the bill. Municipalities often cannot, despite interest from local politicians and city personnel. Citizen initiatives and non-profit organizations do what they can, but in the end, there is little to no coordination or cooperation. The result? Splintered projects with different goals and results.

Public-Private Partnerships

Parksen believes the answers lie mostly in public-private partnerships (PPP). The costs of the Smart City pilot projects will be covered mostly by our substantial Smart City Fund, which contains about 25% of the total ICO proceeds. With this money, interested municipalities that otherwise would have no way of starting a pilot project can start working on infrastructural improvements immediately, without having to go through endless grant applications.

This means that ICO investors, citizens of some of the largest and smallest cities on the planet, are contributing directly to making their own cities healthier and smarter. With every token they buy, they create a better world. Who wouldn’t want that?


Jan Heemskerk
Content Manager at Parksen

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