What is a Smart City?
A smart city uses technology to solve infrastructural and societal problems, while promoting sustainability and increasing operational efficiency. Its citizens are at the core of its framework. By focusing on continuous development of its key components, a smart city aims to substantially improve our daily lives. Here is an overview of its components and the technologies that link them together.
- Smart Living: Optimizes and protects water supply, saves fuel costs, optimizes traffic flow and strives for better utilization of urban area through real-time parking availability, offers location-based services and city event info.
- Smart Environment: Aims to reduce carbon footprint through use of autonomous technologies that monitor overall environmental health and prevent any negative impact, promotion of renewable energy sources, practice of green energy policies and procedures.
- Smart Mobility: Ensures a fully accessible, open and strategically linked network for optimal movement and safe passage of citizens and vehicles.
- Smart Economy: Offers an entrepreneurial and innovative culture, inspires productivity, provides local and global interconnectivity.
- Smart Governance: Includes citizens in the decision-making process digitally, online administrative services, democratic engagement and electoral rights.
- Smart People: Embraces a creative atmosphere, inclusive education and society, as well as regular training opportunities.
- Internet of Things: A system of physical objects with unique identifiers (UIDs) that talk to each other, and easily transfer data through a network, without the aid of human-to-human or human-to-machine interaction.
- Internet of Services: Web-based interactive services with information that is easily accessed and shared through social networks and tagging and is of mutual use to human and machine.
- Internet of Data: An organized network that embeds virtual tags which record all activity of passing data entities since their creation. The information is later used for data identification, data tracing or data analysis.
- Internet of People: Humans and their personal devices play an active role in the internet through a centralized infrastructure of interconnected peer networks in which applications are tailored to work around a person’s unique day to day needs, while also communicating with users of similar profile interests and exchanging information.
The United Nations estimates that by 2030, 67% of our population will be living in cities. This figure was 54% in 2014. The movement of middle-class families towards urban centers in search of better opportunities, along with the transformation of emerging economies into global players, like China, will create a strong demand for smart city technologies.
In 2019, the smart cities market was worth $624.81 billion. Green technology being the driving force of its success, it is projected to reach a value of $1712.83 billion by 2025, with a 18.30% CAGR from 2020 to 2025 (Mordor Intelligence).
The largest smart cities market is currently in Europe, focusing on climate and energy. Europe holds 45% worth of the smart cities market followed by Asia-Pacific with 35% and North America 20% (Markets and Markets).
Asia Pacific will experience the highest market growth in the next five years. India and China are singled out as the nations that will benefit the most from the development and expansion of smart cities in previously rural surrounding regions. Compared to China’s impressive 500 smart city projects that are ready for construction, India is catching up with 731 approved projects, and 100 planned for construction by 2022 (Mordor Intelligence).
The two major challenges faced are security of IOT devices and high costs of building refurbishment. System security developers are forced to rethink creative strategies and implement specific security measures to IoT devices, in order to eliminate the threat of enterprise data breaches and protect consumer privacy. Meanwhile, the question whether to demolish or restore older buildings is creating dialogue between defensive citizens looking to preserve their communities against local governments on a tight budget.
The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in an increased demand for telehealth services. In addition, there is a projected 12-20% price increase in the cost for IoT sensors and hardware necessary to facilitate physician checkups and overall health monitoring without physical contact (Markets and Markets).
Let’s Build a Better Future Together
What is your take on smart cities? Is your city implementing smart parking and smart waste management strategies? Do you wish to be a part of that process by taking an active role alongside modern technologies? Reach out to us and let’s get the conversation going.
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