The “smartness” of a city, of regions and of public management is today a reality due to the omnipresence of ICT in the social and economic life of the regions for the benefit of connected services and equipment: to improve traffic circulation and transport, support sustainable development, stimulate the economy, strengthen democracy and solidarity, and make life safer. This movement has grown to an unprecedented scale with the emergence of connected objects, mobile broadband, algorithms and artificial intelligence.
They challenge us to completely rethink public management from several perspectives: redefining public services (for example, in terms of urban mobility), consequent investments to be agreed to in terms of infrastructure (modernization of classic infrastructures, integration of new technological measures, merging of the two), risk of an “uberization” of the public entity, valorization and customary data processing skills and capabilities, an increasing presence of private or open source (but secure) service platforms, integrated into the public authorities responsible for the governance of a region (municipalities, cities, communities). These technological platforms have the potential to acquire and process data from the technologies mentioned above, both for personal data, while in particular respecting the application of the GDPR1, and for the provision of data for the area concerned for all actors present (inhabitants, professionals, authorities). Providing these kinds of technological platforms, adapted to urban, suburban or even rural environments, is a challenge.
The possible territorial management that could result from it appears promising from the point of view of the challenges of sustainable development, climate change support, reducing the energy costs of the area or even the ability to strengthen economic attractiveness and social cohesion by renewing local public services. Indeed, such technological platforms question the operational procedures of existing public services and the relationships of officials and elected representatives with citizens, while giving a glimpse of the emergence of new tools both for managing services for an area and for supporting the development of activities for economic officials in this area.