Smart cities have boomed in recent years, with many development authorities prioritizing smart technology to create futuristic cities. Smart cities achieve sustainability through digitization and automation and have become a promising prospect for better city management. So, are smart cities the future of sustainable civilization?
Smart cities are the future of sustainable living, city development, space utilization, and resource allocation. Smart cities use automated technology to enhance the overall living experience and improve utility organization and service delivery.
Technology is changing the shape of our future, and our cities are no exception. This article will cover 10 things that make smart cities more advanced. I’ll also discuss how smart cities are shaping the future of traffic control, service delivery, security systems, and an overall living experience.
Things To Know About Smart Cities
A smart city is a living area designed and run on smart technology. It integrates data with the city planning and management systems to reduce resource wastage, improve service delivery and create sustainable living systems.
So, how do smart cities enhance sustainability, and what futuristic technology is used in smart city design?
Here are some factors which make smart cities the future of sustainable living:
Sustainable City Planning
One of the primary differences between a smart city and a regular city is the data-driven planning process. Smart cities are planned using automated technology, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to create a better living environment. Smart cities are therefore more space-efficient and don’t have any of the issues that ravage most large cities.
Some of the factors that go into planning smart cities include:
Smart cities are designed for maximum space utilization using modern architecture systems. The exact space is calculated, and machine learning systems allocate space based on the city function. You won’t see space wastage in a smart city, but you won’t see cluttered buildings either.
Traffic Flow Systems
Better road design is an essential part of the planning of sustainable cities. Traffic problems usually result from inconsistent road design and a lack of proper road planning. Smart technology systems are used to plan the infrastructure development of smart cities to avoid overburden.
One of the key areas involved in smart city planning is connecting the infrastructure systems with data analytics. This connection helps run cities based on real-time data, allowing for better efficiency and sustainability.
While all cities have to cover planning guidelines, smart cities are designed with accurate data and are easier to manage. The planning also helps them avoid most of the infrastructure and development problems modern metropolises face.
Smart Cities Have Better Traffic Control Systems
Traffic control is a significant problem in most major cities. Whether an overburden causes it on infrastructure or a lack of traffic management systems, it remains a problem for most cities. Smart cities resolve most traffic problems using tracking technology and smart traffic management systems.
Many smart cities have road sensors that can measure traffic flow on roads. This data can then be used to facilitate better traffic flow systems. Traffic lights and other control systems are adjusted according to real-time data instead of operating on a fixed system.
Studies have shown that implementing smart technologies in traffic flow systems allows for smoother traffic control and less congestion. It may also reduce the risk and number of road casualties. Some of the technologies used in smart traffic control systems include:
- Congestion detection. These systems are designed to monitor the level of slow-moving vehicles on a particular road and detect congestion. City management can use the congestion data to adjust traffic lights, on-ramp signaling, and other traffic control applications.
- Interconnected traffic flow. Changing part of the city’s traffic flow system will cause disruptions in other areas. Smart cities have an interconnected traffic flow system that adjusts the flow control automatically.
- Emergency vehicle routing. One of the primary functions of smart traffic control is to ensure emergency vehicles are rerouted to the best routes. Smart traffic flow control can adjust the traffic signals and road indicators to allow emergency vehicles to reach their destination faster.
Many people are shifting to smart cities rapidly because of better traffic management. In the future, many large cities are expected to develop traffic flow systems based on smart technologies, although redesigning the current infrastructure is costly.
Electric Transport Systems
Smart cities are designed with a better public transportation infrastructure that connects important landmarks. This public transportation infrastructure connects industrial and commercial areas with residential areas for more effective public transportation systems.
Some smart cities are designed to give preference to electric vehicles, reducing the carbon footprint. Public transportation systems are also designed to minimize energy consumption and enhance the city’s sustainability.
Some of the features of a smart city transportation system include:
- Integrated public transport. Public transport systems in smart cities are integrated with online booking options. You can book multiple transport modes under a single ticket. Integrated systems make it easier to commute in larger cities.
- Self-driving vehicles. Many smart cities are experimenting with the introduction of electric self-driving cars. Self-driving buses are also being developed for the complete automation of public transport. These projects are already in progress.
- Ride-sharing systems. An interconnected city will also rely on ride-sharing systems to reduce the environmental impact of unnecessary vehicles. Many cities are promoting public and private ride-sharing systems to improve ease of commute.
- Bicycle sharing. Many cities have successfully implemented bicycle sharing systems to lower pollution and road congestion. Smart cities will have dedicated bicycle lanes to facilitate cyclists.
The transportation systems of smart cities are designed to reduce pollution, congestion, and other traffic issues.
Smart Home Design
Smart cities have homes built using sustainable design and smart technology. This process involves designing homes to be energy efficient and technology integrated for the best living experience. Smart cities may also have standards that homeowners must follow when building their houses.
Some of the factors that are involved in smart home design include:
Modern architecture is based on designing homes that are naturally energy efficient. These homes take natural airflow, sun positioning, and other natural factors to improve the house’s energy efficiency. It has never been more critical to explore energy efficiency in our future cities in the current world energy crisis.
Smart Technology Systems
Smart homes have smart technology systems that automate everything from security to entertainment systems and temperature control. You can adjust the sound system’s volume or temperature control from your smartphone.
Smart homes also use technology to improve the home’s energy efficiency. For example, smart lighting systems are designed with motion sensors that control the light switch. You can also control the light’s brightness based on your requirements.
So, while smart technology is used in modern homes to improve the living experience, it also comes with sustainability advantages.
Smart Utility Systems
Smart cities have more consistent utility systems to improve livability and reduce utility problems that most people face in major cities. Smart meters are designed to save electricity and water and can help improve society’s sustainability.
Smart utilities can also detect unusual spikes and over usage, which may prevent appliance damage. Smart meters allow you to monitor your energy usage in real-time, which may help you reduce energy wastage.
Smart cities also place a lot of focus on solar-powered systems. These systems include solar water heaters, solar panels, and other green energy systems that improve the city’s sustainability. The future of cities will be based on sustainable energy systems, and the utility systems of smart cities reflect this.
Smart Security Systems
Futuristic systems will focus on automated security systems that you can control from a central device. Many smart cities have already implemented partially or fully automated security systems.
Smart security systems use technology such as sensors, wireless CCTV, and customization. You can control and monitor these systems from a smartphone or tablet. Many smart security systems will notify you with a message when there’s a security disruption or other issue, helping with better response times.
Law enforcement agencies integrate smart technology into security systems for better monitoring and crime control. As a result, smart cities are much safer and provide complete peace of mind.
Smart Cities Are Greener
Cities of the future are being designed with sustainable systems. As such, they’re greener and provide a more pleasant living experience. Smart cities offer green areas, effective waste disposal systems, and other features to reduce their carbon footprint.
Since designers automate everything in smart cities, waste disposal is no different. Waste disposal systems in smart cities are integrated with recycling systems to reduce their waste impact.
Similarly, teams may carefully monitor waste disposal and pollution in these cities, which helps reduce pollution and other environmental problems.
Smart Healthcare Systems
Smart cities have healthcare systems based on smart technology, benefiting both doctors and patients. Big data and healthcare monitoring technology are used in smart healthcare systems to improve patient monitoring and deliver better quality healthcare.
Smart cities have hospitals that use smart technology such as wearable devices to monitor a patient’s health and detect anomalies earlier. This technology can save many lives and improve overall patient care.
IoT systems are also used in smart hospitals to improve resource allocation and reduce the risk of medical errors. Studies have shown that interconnected systems can sync patient care data and help hospitals improve their care systems.
E-Governance Initiatives for Better Transparency
Smart cities rely on live data and technology, improving governance systems and encouraging transparency. Automated systems based on fixed data systems are often more accurate indicators of resource allocation systems.
These systems are being implemented in smart cities to automate everything from voting to bill payment and more. Automated systems reduce the risk of corruption and improve large cities’ governance systems.
Many cities are experimenting with blockchain systems in their governance procedures to improve transparency. For instance, Sierra Leone experimented with blockchain vote-counting systems to ensure transparent elections. Smart city planners use technologies such as blockchain to propel city governance into the future.
10. Smart Cities Are Business Friendly
Smart cities have systems that help businesses thrive. They contain better infrastructure, transparent governance, and better information systems. These systems help facilitate many business functions and help businesses become more sustainable and efficient.
Businesses can also benefit from the wide availability of information systems to improve customer targeting. Big data is widely accessible in smart cities, which provides marketers with opportunities to streamline their campaigns.
However, it isn’t only existing businesses that’ll profit from smart city development. Smart cities give rise to new business opportunities such as ride-sharing companies, solar technology firms, and other industries associated with smart technology.
Smart cities can also handle larger populations more effectively. This increased flexibility provides more opportunities for business expansion. Successful businesses see opportunities in change, and the growth of smart cities will create multiple new sustainable business opportunities.
When Will Smart Cities Become a Reality?
Smart cities have become a reality already, as dozens of smaller “smart city” projects are already being completed. Predictions are that there’ll be around 88 fully functioning smart cities by 2025, so smart cities will become a ubiquitous feature of our modern landscape.
Smart cities are graded on multiple factors, including technology integration, sustainability, development stage, inclusiveness, environment, and quality of life. According to the 2020 Smart City Index, Singapore, Helsinki, and Zurich are the world’s top three smartest cities.
However, many new smart cities are rapidly being developed, and “smart” cities are constantly evolving with improvements in technology.
With the population growth and shift towards cities showing no signs of slowing down, smart cities have become a necessity.
Smart cities can help with sustainable living, better energy consumption, and effective governance. They do so with smart infrastructure design, transparent government, and better resource allocation.
Smart cities use big data and smart technology to improve everything from utility allocation to waste management and business procedures. Best of all, they’re already a reality, with 88 smart cities expected to be fully functional by 2025!
- EcoTech Tube: How Smart Cities are Creating a Greener Future
- ScienceDirect: Smart healthcare: making medical care more intelligent
- GlobalSign: The Benefits of Smart Cities
- World Economic Forum: Here’s how technology is tackling inclusion issues in smart cities
- ScienceDirect: Smart Sustainable Cities
- ResearchGate: SMART CITY AND URBAN SUSTAINABILITY
- IMD: Smart City Observatory