Smart cities don’t really exist today. There are cities like Tokyo, London and New York that are on the way to becoming smarter. However, no city can call itself truly smart today. When you ask, “What is a smart city?”, there’s no example to point to. That being said, there are a couple of key elements that a smart city has to have before it becomes smart. Here are 3 major elements a city must have to become smart.
Interconnection of People and Technology
A smart city will require a vast network through which services, governments, business, and people will all be connected to each other. This can take many forms, but it will certainly depend on billions of transceivers being installed inside the city. These will transmit, and receive information for different services and organizations to act on. For instance, buses will run on specific routes to carry passengers to their jobs, and/or appointments.
For a smart city IoT will have to be a prerequisite. It will require 5G towers to become much better than they are today, and artificial intelligence to automate most things. None of that is where it needs to be today. There is still a long way to go in terms of technology and implementation. However, we’re getting there.
Smarter Utility Management
Smart cities will also mean better utility management. Already, cities are using sensors to monitor water levels, air quality, weather, garbage disposal, etc. Cities will continue to get smarter by monitoring utilities, including gas, and electricity consumption, carbon emissions, etc.
Hence, this smarter utility management will result in better use of resources. Cities will become less and less hungry compared to their population size. With better and more equitable distribution of resources, smart cities will become more sustainable.
There can be no smart cities without a vision. In order to connect services, governments, people, technology, etc., a master plan has to be put in place. Otherwise, conflicts, special interests, different companies and a lack of compatibility will hinder progress.
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