Shaping the Digital Citizen into a Smart Citizen on the Basis of IoT Capabilities

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Nowadays, urban structure is decisively influenced by the global spread of strategies for transforming urban environments into smart cities. The continuous growth of urban population and the digital transformation aim to leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society as well as the more empowered and demanding citizens are essential factors in this approach. All activities in smart city are focused on new and smart technologies that address the urban management and governance issues. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)-based solutions enhance the interconnectivity provided by the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities and embrace the new evolution of citizen empowered in handling information and in resolving complex problems. Accelerated by the innovation process in the public service sector, the digital public services must meet the expectations of the new wave of users that can't anymore dissociate their daily activities from the large-scale use of smart technologies. IoT has already proven to better sustain the sensing and connectivity, becoming thus an efficient tool to address a broader range of qualitative public services and to proactively involve the more demanding citizen. A smart citizen expects new types of digital public services able to support his/her engagement in the streamlining of the decision-making processes at the community, regional or national level. He/she is connected at an enhanced level with the appropriate public authority in order to deliver particular data and information or to demonstrate a personal point of view. In the same time, the public authorities are enabled to process the gathered data and the multi-dimensional insights derived from it, generating afterwards urban improvements, efficiency, or patterns to evolve. This paper highlights the main features of the new emerging smart citizen in the context of the already existing digital citizen and how the IoT has the capability to transform the interaction between the citizen and the public authorities, and the digital public services themselves. A proposed reference architecture of a digital public service based on IoT aims to demonstrate how the capabilities of this expandable technology can meet the new requirements in the specific context of a smart city and citizen.
smart citizen, smart city, IoT architecture, public services, smart governance