A City or a Smart City?
Technology continues to have a significant impact beyond the scopes of manufacturing, public transport and other ordinary classic industries. Today, many big cities around the world are going smart, including New York, Paris, Yokohama, Hong Kong and Brisbane. Characterized by smart connectivity technologies like the ones creating the Internet of Things (IoT) and chock full of smart infrastructures, these cities offer high living standards and convenience on a whole other level that what citizens are generally used to.
Three Common Features of a Smart City
Most cities around the world, if not all, collect waste on a weekly basis. Integrating different sensors on bins ensures cost-efficient waste handling. Moreover, to improve air quality, cities can integrate traffic management system by collecting and analyzing data. Similar solutions can be applied to sewers or rivers in order to anticipate and eventually avoid floods in cities. One of the easiest ways to integrate connectivity to your city is by leveraging the strategic characteristics of public lighting infrastructure: lighting poles are ubiquitous, and sensors installed on or close to lights have a great chance of having clear line of sight to the gateway, to other sensors or to repeaters.
Another important building block of smart cities is the opportunities that come with smart building and homes. Automated processes to automatically control the operations of buildings, including security, lighting, HVAC (heating,ventilation and air condition) and other systems can have a huge impact. These automated processes are enabled by technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Two buildings that really stand out in the world at the moment: The Edge located in Amsterdam, Netherlands and PNC Tower located in Pittsburg, USA. We’ll tell you why they stand in a class of their own in another article.
Smart cities also aim to make the best use of energy and many are looking at smart energy solutions such as solar, wind, natural gas, tidal energy, biogas geothermal power, that demonstrate lesser impact on the environment than traditional energy sources. Cities are more and more putting pressure on utilities to gradually eliminate traditional forms of energy like oil, nuclear and coal that have known longstanding negative impacts on land, waterbodies and atmosphere. In the following article: How Smart Can Your City Be(come)?, you can read about the solutions that the city of Singapore is developing to solve recurring problems while being eco-friendly.
Any Traditional City Can Go Smart!
The best part is that any city can (and should!) drive transformation to position itself as a smart city. Once a city has identified its “smart city objectives”, smart technology solution providers are well able to adapt, modify and develop a city’s next great idea. The only known real barrier is our collective imagination, because technology wise, your local design house can help you build your dream smart infrastructure and achieve those objectives. ;)