Quick take: Those smart cities images!

Seriously. Take a look at that image above. What does it even mean?

It means nothing. It's nonsense.

This has grated on me for years, if you cant tell!

For so long I supported the smart cities efforts of cities all around the world, delivering training on how to embrace technology and data for good. How to build capacity, raise awareness among stakeholders and build constructive narratives to effect positive change.

And then we go slap an image on it that represents anything but reality, or optimism or human-centred city shaping.

For some reason the stock image creators interpret smart cities as something like the image below, and then we are happy to go and use it.

We need to stop this nonsense. Images are the visual cues that represent what we are trying to say.

And we are definantly not trying to say this about smart cities.

And one can now see why the term 'smart cities' has grated on so many, and why they don't like it.

If we were true to the definition of smart cities - tech and data for good - we would be using images representing real life, happiness, opportunity and other outcome-related conditions.

Because remember, technology and data are merely the enabler for good things, and often invisible and out of plain sight.

Consider the images below, for inspiration at least, on how to represent your smart cities journey. Each and every one of them have technology and data enablers behind them.

So if smart cities is all about better outcomes, let's say it, through images!

Remember, tech and data for good!