There are four aspects that contribute to the definition of a smart city:
- The application of a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and digital technologies to communities and cities.
- The use of the (IoT) devices to transform life and working environments within the region.
- The embedding of IoT technology in government systems.
- The regionalization of practices that brings IoT and people together to enhance the innovation and knowledge that they offer.
Based on the four factors defined above, a smart city is one that utilizes the internet of things to meet the demands of the citizens within a city. One key factor is the involvement of the community in the process.
A smart city uses the internet of things to enhance quality and performance of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens.
Smart city applications are developed with the goal of improving the management of urban flows and allowing for real time responses to challenges. A smart city may therefore be more prepared to respond to challenges than one with a simple ‘transactional’ relationship with its citizens.
Overview of what is happening in some parts of the world
Smart City – Europe
The European Union (EU) has devoted constant efforts to developing a strategy for achieving ‘smart’ urban growth for its metropolitan city-regions. The EU has developed a range of programs under “Europe’s Digital Agenda”.
Creating a road map for Smart Cities is a complicated matter. The necessary steps depend on the cities’ objectives and on existing local resources. Roadmaps first require a detailed analysis of the city: its resources, infrastructure and pattern of energy demand. Starting from your own strengths is key for the roadmap definition.
It is also important to understand the spirit of the times. Ger Baron of Amsterdam Innovation Motor compares it with art. ‘The context is often more important than the product. You need a project manager who has vision, just like an artist’, he says. According to him, it is also important to make a clear distinction between an investment agenda and an innovation agenda.
Smart City – Asia
Asia’s emerging cities have been reactive, rather than proactive, when it comes to building infrastructure. To counter this, ‘Smart Cities’ has been a buzzword for a few years now, with India looking to build 100 such cities in the near future.
Asia is expected to take the lead in the building of smart cities over the next century. With a predicted 62 megacities (cities with more than 10 million people) by 2025, up from the current 32, Asia has no choice but to figure out the best way to use technology to help their citizens live better lives.
Smart City – America
For our U.S. urban centers to address the escalating demands of so many future inhabitants living, working, driving, and interacting with each other, cities are looking at ways to become “smarter” and more flexible in responding to citizens’ needs. And to do this, they are looking to the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT Smart Cities’ technology enables the cutting-edge intelligence and flexibility necessary to help cities use resources more efficiently – to improve everything from quality of the air and water to transportation, energy and communication systems.
City governments will invest approximately $41 trillion over the next 20 years to upgrade their infrastructure to benefit from the IoT. With these huge investments, the IoT will transform the quality of life for citizens in cities.
As 21st century infrastructure becomes more intelligent and connected, citizens will benefit from improved management of resources and a plethora of other positive social and economic impacts that the IoT can help deliver.
An IoT smart city should cover 3 major points:
- Use of technology to deliver services.
- Use of technology to reduce costs for service providers.
- Use of technology to allow citizens to improve the running of the city.
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