Cross-sector Collaboration and Smart Cities

To help users find relevant, quality resources from our Resource Library, we create curated lists on a variety of topics, bringing important practitioner- and academic-oriented work to the forefront.


Here we present resources on cross-sector collaboration for smart cities — reports, books, tools, and multimedia tackling topics ranging from data sharing for city road safety to public-private partnerships for building broadband networks.


View all our curated lists here.


Funding and Financing Smart Cities, Deloitte, Steve Hamilton and Ximon Zhu, 2017

“Public-private partnerships (PPPs), revenue sharing agreements, and pay-for-performance arrangements are examples of resourceful new approaches to funding and financing smart cities. Investment vehicles like these go beyond traditional debt instruments to ensure less risk and more reward for all stakeholders.” This Deloitte report looks at “smart cities in action and the innovative financing strategies behind them,” and includes three critical steps government financial leaders at the federal, state, and local levels can take to accelerate the adoption of smart cities.


Using Partnerships to Power a Smart City: A Toolkit for Local Communities, U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 2016

“This Toolkit is for government officials, urban planners, citizen groups, and others who want to implement successful smart cities projects. Drawing from lessons learned, it provides a framework for getting the most out of public-private partnerships, including what to look for in a partner, assessing each partner’s contribution, and guidance on how to structure the most fruitful partnership agreements. The Appendices provide helpful checklists to use during the planning process. [The guide’s] goal is to equip communities with the know-how to build long-lasting partnerships that contribute to vibrant and sustainable smart cities.”


Smart City Partnerships: Smart Cities and the Internet of Things: Benefits, Risks, and Options, New America, Robert J. Butler and Irving Lachow, 2016

“This paper examines how IoT might be used to support Smart Cities, explores the cybersecurity risks associated with IoT technologies, and proposes a number of steps that might be taken to address those risks. … In order to architect and sustain safe, secure smart cities and reap the benefits of the IoT, trust has to be built and maintained among government (including international, federal, state and local levels), commercial companies, and civil society.” Pages 7-9 of this report look at the common characteristics of successful public-private partnerships for digitally secure, safe cities.


The Digital Road to Safety: Public-Private Knowledge Sharing to Improve City Road Safety, Brookings Institution, Ranjitha Shivaram et al., 2017

“Using the results of an expert workshop held at The Brookings Institution in May 2017, this brief explores the connection between city road safety and data from a variety of public, private, and civic perspectives. It finds that while data can certainly improve the design and management of city streets, as well as behavioral and business practices, the barriers to wide-scale sharing and new system adoption are equally significant. Moving forward, governments at all levels and their private sector peers will need to rethink data standards, procurement policies, and measurement techniques — as well as privacy and cybersecurity — to maximize road safety.”


Keys to A Smart City: Public Private Partnerships #P3, SAP Radio, 2017

“The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) latest 2013 report card on America’s infrastructure graded it a D+ and estimated US$ 3.6 trillion of investment is needed by 2020. No surprise, their March 2017 report will show what we all know: traditional sources of financing are often inadequate. How do City leaders find the resources to provide municipal services?” In this radio interview from Voice America Business Channel, practitioners from public private partnerships in the developed world and Global South address this and related questions.


Trends in Smart City Development: Case Studies and Recommendations, National League of Cities, 2016

“To better understand smart cities in practice, this report outlines smart city initiatives in five cities. For each city, the report focuses on the organization of the initiatives, the policy and administrative components guiding the initiatives, and community engagement around smart development.” Several of these examples highlight the public-private dynamics involved in smart cities, including a Chicago open data platform that allowed the City to partner with universities and the private sector, and Envision Charlotte, a public-private collaboration working “to reduce energy use in commercial buildings through behavioral changes.”


Smart Cities Financing Guide, Smart Cities Council and the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University, Kevin C. Desouza et al., 2015

“There are numerous financing tools available to help cities and regional governments pay for smart city projects. This guide highlights 28 of the most promising — including alternatives to the traditional funding mechanisms municipalities have used for decades [and describes] which ones are most appropriate for specific types of projects.” Find discussion of various types of public-private collaboration, including public-private partnership and pay for performance, on pages 47-54.


Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds, 2016

✴ Available only with purchase from publisher

In this book, “Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds explore large-scale systemic innovation that calls for ‘big teaming’: intense collaboration between professions and industries with completely different mindsets. To explore the kind of leadership required to build the future, Edmondson and Reynolds tell the story of an award-winning ‘smart city’ start-up launched with the ambitious goal of creating a showcase high-tech city from scratch. The collaboration brought together software entrepreneurs, real estate developers, city government officials, architects, builders, and technology corporations. Taking a close look at the work, norms, and values in each of these professional domains, readers gain insight into why teaming across fields is so challenging, and what leaders can do to help.”


A Framework to Use Public-Private Partnership for Smart City Projects, Politecnico di Torino, Dept. of Management and Production Engineering, Mario Calderini et al., 2013

“The development and implementation of Smart City projects require considerable investments that are difficult to fund with traditional public finance. In this context, Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) appear to be suitable solutions to overcome the shortage of public finance and cuts on public spending. However, the adoption of PPP forms for Smart City projects has not been fully explored and only experimentally applied so far. In order to promote the usage of PPP to finance Smart City initiatives, this paper proposes some PPP financial instruments and discusses the associated strengths and weaknesses. In particular, the use of Project Finance, Revenue Sharing and Social Impact Bonds are suggested as sound alternatives and suitable sources of financing for Smart City projects.”


Successful Strategies for Broadband Public-Private Partnerships, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Patrick Lucey and Christopher Mitchell, 2016

“The transition from last generation basic broadband networks to next-generation fiber-optic networks is underway. … Smart cities are realizing they need to act or risk being left behind. However, many do not want to embrace the purely municipal model, where the city would engage in direct competition with existing providers. One way for those communities to move forward is with a public-private partnership (PPP). … This paper explores lessons from PPPs and offers in-depth case studies of three high profile models: Westminster and Ting in Maryland, UC2B and iTV-3/CountryWide in Illinois, and LeverettNet in Massachusetts.”