PM Magazine: Make Way for Smart Communities

Introduction to the Special June 2018 Issue of PM Magazine Devoted to Smart Communities

ARTICLE | May 27, 2018

By Amy Ahner

We live in an information age. Technological innovation in the forms of computers, telecommunications, and data is and will continue to change the way local government managers deliver efficient services to residents.

The smart communities’ movement supports local governments as they consider, adopt, and use new technology to improve how the business of towns, cities, districts, and counties is performed.

We have a responsibility as government professionals to stay informed, to keep up on new technology being introduced to the market, and to be aware of the implications of its adoption and use. ICMA understands that responsibility, which is why the ICMA Smart Communities Advisory Board was created in 2017.

I serve as the advisory board’s chair, and the board members’ charge is to provide ICMA members with the content and resources needed to stay abreast of technology trends and to invest public dollars wisely.

Advisory Board’s Purpose

The board has been charged with enabling and educating local governments on technology and management in the smart community field. For the past three years, members of the board have been reading, sharing experiences, and tracking what’s happening in the technology field.

Board members advise ICMA on technology reports and focus their efforts on providing ICMA members with a broad understanding of smart community concepts and opportunities. This is done by writing book reviews, speaking at the annual conference, and blogging about our experiences.

In short, we work to provide our management colleagues with the knowledge they need.

Becoming a Smart Community

The board hopes this issue of Public Management (PM) magazine will guide your next smart community initiative. The path to becoming a smart community begins with one step and then another.

We invite you to take a step now to learn more about the concrete actions needed to create a strategic, smart community plan.

Amy Ahner is director of administrative services, Glenview, Illinois (, and serves as chair of the ICMA Smart Communities Advisory Board.