MBA students Balaji Raghavan, Erika Maddox, Manan Thadeshwar, Nabeel Adeni, Natasha Vujcic, Shiv Kant Kumar and Yogendra Kalavalapalli explore the changing face of the “citizen experience” in their recent HuffPost article.

They are part of a team of Professor Markus Giesler’s Customer Experience Design students who have kicked off an exciting series published by the Huffington Post in recent months. 

According to their article, “Designing the Smart City,” urban leaders and planners have an opportunity to recognize the full potential of citizen participation in creating effectively designed cities. Engaging citizens, particularly a city’s “creative class,” the CX team argues, is an excellent way to shape functional, future design for a city. This will not only improve the city’s service to citizens, but also mobilize their passion and identification with the city as a brand.

“Through our primary research, we determined that a smart citizen has three quintessential needs: higher levels of connectivity, greater convenience, and better modes of daily commute.”

-Designing the Smart City (click for source)

In an age of disruptive technology and cities wired for connection, it only makes sense to think of creative citizens as a city’s “power users.” Just as consumers lead innovation, and brands go after consumer loyalty, maybe our cities can follow the model to better serve public need.

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Check out the article on the CED website, or catch the original HuffPost article here.