Skip links
Smart City challenges principles

Smart City – challenges and principles

When we think about what components make up a Smart City, many ideas come to mind regarding technology, cybersecurity, and numerous mobile applications. However, the concept of a Smart City is quite broad and multifaceted, which must be taken into account when planning the implementation of Smart City systems in each individual case. Let’s consider the main factors and components of Smart Cities, based on numerous studies and well-known white papers on this topic.

In Ukraine, as in many countries, there is a gradual migration of people from rural to urban areas, which is caused by many factors. Over the past 10 years, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of the rural population, which now accounts for less than 30% of the total population of Ukraine. These changes are prompting every city, regardless of its size, to find ways to change, using the best international practices and developments.

The main drivers for the development of Smart Cities around the world are the following, increasingly evident in the last two decades: changing political landscapes, technological advances, the provision of services replacing manufacturing, increasing global integration of the world economy, and a high proportion of the workforce with a tertiary education.

The core of the Smart city is the toolkit or digitization of the urban system, interconnectedness and intelligence.

Evaluation of the city’s major systems and activities should be adapted to the city’s vision and the influence of external factors, reflect a holistic view of the city, be comprehensive and measure the progress of the whole system, and be comparative and benchmarking.

Smart city components

City services

The city service system is the operational and coordination of services provided by the city government, such as coordination of delivery by various agencies, allocation of public funds, physical planning activities and more.


The city’s civic system refers to its human and social networks. These include public safety (fire, police and disaster recovery), health, education and quality of life.


A city’s business system includes its regulatory and policy environment, and includes planning regulations, openness to foreign trade and investment, and labour and product market legislation.


The city’s transport system includes all aspects of its road network, its public transport network and its sea and air ports, from provision to pricing.


The city’s communications system includes its telecommunications infrastructure, including telephony, broadband and wireless connectivity. The ability to access and share information is central to today’s economy and is the key to a smarter city.


A city’s water system is an important utility that encompasses the entire water cycle, water supply, and sanitation.


A city’s energy system, as important as its water resources, includes infrastructure for generating and transmitting electricity, as well as for recycling it.

Important steps in creating a Smart City

Developing a long-term strategy and short-term goals for your city.

Prioritizing and investing in the highest priority areas that will make the biggest difference.

Integrate systems with each other to improve efficiency.

Streamlining services and operations.

Finding new opportunities for growth and optimization.

How Smart Cities transform systems

  • A smart city is one that̆ uses technology to transform its core systems and optimize the return on limited resources.
  • It uses smart resources, which also fosters innovation, a key enabler of competitiveness and economic growth.
  • Investing in smarter systems is also a source of sustainable employment.
  • Each of the identified basic systems can be smarter, harnessing the potential to digitize systems and thereby enable more informed decision-making.

Challenges and threats to Smart Cities

According to different assessments, the threats to Smart Cities can have different origins, but there is a common denominator. Some of these threats could be seen during the global Covid-19 pandemic, and others we can see at the moment in Ukrainian cities due to the destruction of energy facilities by Russian Federation rocket attacks.

So, the main challenges for Smart Cities are: cybersecurity, severe coordination and service planning problems due to urban sprawl; health threats such as child deaths and epidemics; costly business maintenance costs for city businesses; inefficient transport systems continue to drive up costs; water resources suffer from leakage, theft and poor quality; current energy systems are often unsafe and inefficient.

Implemented projects in Kyiv

An open budget set up to control the spending of all public bodies in Kyiv, including administrations, housing and utilities boards and schools.

The creation of e-procurement, an open system for placing tenders by the Kyiv City State Administration, has made the use of corruption schemes in procurement more difficult.

Completely online is the issuance of a certificate of residence registration and a certificate of housing privatization.

Property management system – in the form of an interactive map and simple data, it maintains records of all municipal facilities in the city, you can keep track of what is sold or rented out. In addition, the service provides information on who owns the property or land, who manages it and on what terms it is rented.

Electronic petition service in Kyiv Digital app.

Medical portal of Kyiv shows all the information on hospitals and polyclinics – from location and services they provide – to remains of medicines.

Free Wi-Fi in metro stations.

Monitoring service for communal sweepers.

Contactless card payment for metro and other public transport.

Leave a comment