18. Design Rules for Smarter Cities
• Your citizens know more than you.
• Prototype early and fast, engage the stakeholders, iterate quickly and be
prepared to start all over.
• Embrace self-organisation and civic initiative, but help to make the results
sustainable and scalable.
• Know what you are talking about in the face of technology. Never rely on
consultants that will sell you more consultancy, not solutions.
• Have binding decisions made at the lowest level possible and actively preach
• Favour loosely coupled, smaller systems over monoliths and mastodons, and
use peer-defined standards to glue together the parts. Small systems tend to fail
sometimes; large systems fail for sure.
• To raise and deserve trust, build systems based on data reciprocity and
• Reuse existing parts and design your additions for reuse, adding to the public
domain and thereby strengthening its capacity to act and learn.