After smart phones, smart cars and smart homes, the natural progression is to smart cities. Smart cities use electronic data collection sensors like information and communication technologies (ICT) to monitor and record information. This information is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. These include energy, transportation, utilities, schools, libraries and other community services. The goal of smart cities is to improve the quality of life of the residents through reducing resource consumption, waste and costs.
Smart cities increase contact between citizens and government, offering real-time responses for any incident. This can help police capture criminals and fight crime. It can also monitor water main leaks, alerting officials immediately which would cut down on the amount of damage done. Apart from the safety benefits, smart cities have the ability to be fun.
What it takes
On top of using ICT devices, smart cities rely heavily on the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the concept of connecting any device with an on-off switch (phones, machines, lamps, etc.) to the Internet. By using IoT in smart cities, you can improve efficiency by monitoring energy usage.
Where are they
According to Internet of Things Institute, the top 5 smartest cities are: Singapore, Barcelona, London, San Francisco and Oslo. The Republic of Singapore has made steps toward becoming the first smart nation.
What to expect in the future
Currently the list of smart cities is rather short, however, it is forecasted that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in smart cities. Meaning, we are going to see a dramatic increase of cities adapting to ICT and other electronic data collectors.
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