While the smart factory is being referred to as “industry 4.0” and the “fourth industrial revolution,” it is also influencing the new generation of smart American cities, now what some call Cities 3.0.

Cities 1.0 were the first generation of metropolitan clusters built around ports, rivers, and transportation routes. They were centers of trade.

Cities 2.0, the second generation of cities, arose during the Industrial Revolution featuring factories and heavy machinery, smoke stacks, automobiles, electricity, transportation infrastructure, and other services.

Cities 3.0 is the innovative, entrepreneurial, and technological city. There are no papers, wires, or cash. Cell phones dominate over landlines, tablets over desktops, smart devices over toothbrushes.

These new cities must be led via open-source technologies. It is necessary to look beyond politics, putting differences aside, in order to think up the best city solutions. This new type of city is the “ultimate service provider,” where its citizens take center stage, offering guidance and advice for the betterment of the city. This is the generation where Apple, the world’s largest music firm, owns no record stores; where Amazon, the world’s largest bookseller, owns no bookstores; where Uber and Lyft, the world’s largest taxi companies, own no vehicles; where AirBnB, soon to be the world’s largest hotel, owns no hotel rooms; and where the world’s largest university, wherever it may be located, will not own a campus.

The new trend of city services must be provided on new platforms. In the case of a pothole, rather than have city crews searching for potholes to fill, citizens of the city 3.0 can take pictures of potholes with a smartphone and upload them via a 3.0 city application linked with your GPS coordinates. The picture dispatches a crew to fill the pothole. The process is quicker, easier, and more efficient. A 3.0 city’s citizens are engaged and connected, helping the city solve problems.

The 3.0 city develops a new infrastructure, such as citywide networks for Wi-Fi, broadband, and fiber optics. Turnkey operations are in place for start-ups, giving them office space and rapid communication lines. In conclusion, the 3.0 city must deliver services and contain an infrastructure needed by residents and businesses in a quick, cheap, and efficient manner.

The Smart Cities Council has a list of upcoming events related to this topic.