The connected city is coming. Pretty soon transportation, energy, water, and other city systems will be interconnected, sharing data to make realtime decisions about how the systems should operate. However, getting to that point can be challenging, as city leaders have big decisions to make with regards to what technology to use. One construction company is now joining the connected-city discussion.

Engineering, project management, and construction firm Bechtel, www.bechtel.com, San Francisco, Calif., recently joined the Smart Cities Council, www.smartcitiescouncil.com, Washington, D.C., to unveil the Smart Cities Readiness Guide. This guide enables leaders to assess the city’s current state of the technology and its readiness to become a smart city, and defines smart cities as ones where digital technology and intelligent design have been harnessed to create smart, sustainable cities.

The Smart Cities Council says with 700 of the world’s largest cities projected to make a cumulative infrastructure investment between $30 trillion and $40 trillion in the next 20 years, it is essential that city leaders invest wisely.

However, making those investment decisions can be a challenge, especially considering the constant evolving nature of technology. This is where city planners, construction teams, and technology providers need to get on the same page with regards to what a smart city will look like.

Bechtel is one example of a construction company that has experience managing the design and construction of such projects in urban areas. The company is now looking to work closely with others in order help these connected municipalities come to fruition.

Together with urban planning experts, Bechtel and the Smart Cities Council developed guidelines, best practices, and case studies in order to help a city create its technology plan. The Smart Cities Readiness Guide even includes vendor-neutral technology recommendations for a city’s energy, water, built environment, transportation, public safety, and health and human services.

As connected cities continue to pop up across the world, deciding which technology to use will be vital. In addition, collaboration between all parties involved will be key to helping move connected cities forward.