When it comes to defining a so-called smart city, there isn’t a cut-and-dried definition, local experts say, but there are some characteristics that play into the equation.

The overarching concept was the focal point of a Wisconsin Technology Council talk Thursday about the possibilities on the horizon for Milwaukee, Madison and other communities across the state.

“When it come to smart cities, you can define it pretty much any way you want to,” said Jerry Deschane, who is executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, an organization representing the 602 cities and villages across the state that comprise about 70 percent of the population.

At its most basic level, communities falling into the realm of a smart city typically use data and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of such existing urban services as transportation, energy and utilities.

Yue Liu, a professor at the UW-Milwaukee’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, also served as a panelist at the talk. Liu is the recipient of a $1.5 million grant to study smart cities. He offered up some of his findings at this week’s discussion.

A number of the examples Liu cited throughout his talk touched on application-type systems, many making the best use of infrastructure. Read the full story here.