More cities than ever are interested in becoming “smart.” They are using new technologies to enable intelligent systems that can promote sustainability and a higher quality of life. These intelligent systems can also benefit a city’s infrastructure, resulting in monitored bridges, roads, and other projects.

To further the goals of smart cities, the Smart Cities Council,, Washington, D.C., released the Smart Cities Readiness Guide. It’s designed to provide a complete roadmap for city leaders, allowing them to assess their cities’ current needs as well as what they may require in the future.

The roadmap offers a definition of a smart city, indicating it is one in which “digital technology and intelligent design have been harnessed to create smart, sustainable cities with high-quality living and high-quality jobs.” It includes information on guidelines, best practices, and case studies. Additionally, the roadmap offers vendor-neutral technology recommendations for solutions to enhance a city’s energy, water, built environment, transportation, public safety, and health and human services.

The guide included input from Smart Cities Council members, such as new member Bechtel,, San Francisco, Calif., an engineering, project management, and construction company. Bechtel contributed information based on the company’s work managing the design and construction of projects in urban areas.

Overall, the guide is designed to help cities navigate the current technology landscape, as well as what may be necessary in the future. It offers city managers and planners a way to take stock of what may be needed as cities move toward a more intelligent future.