The smart city vision is well known across the globe. What will they look like and how will they work? We all wonder!
A symbol of progress. Future smart cities appear in our minds with skyscrapers and flying cars and greener images of our current cities.
While smart city visions differ, in the coming decades, cities will become a digital blanket of sensors, devices, and cloud-connected objects.
One of the most shared visions of what could be a smart city includes all of the key elements: traffic control, environmental protection, management of energy, sanitation, healthcare, security and connected buildings.
All cities are now competing to build highly interconnected smart environments where people, government, and businesses operate symbiotically with technologies such as:
– big data,
– cloud computing,
– robots and drones,
– autonomous green vehicles,
– 3D/4D printing
– renewable energies, etc.
Huge benefits are supposed to be enjoyed by citizens and at the same time, we will have to assume there will be surveillance and the capturing of data everywhere. Because of their success, some cities have already started to turn themselves into smart cities.
Engagement and vision
The best results come when we have a clear idea of what our end goal is. A number of smart city applications are created but die quickly because they don’t really make life better and the population doesn’t want or need them.
Instead of that, city governments should create processes that inform citizens about the possibilities and challenges they will soon need to face. We have to explore what a livable city means to citizens. How will cities attract and support the industries of the future?
We all need a clear vision from city governments and direction around education, environment, public services, access to justice, city administration and civic engagement.
They will give us guidelines which will help to shape the new design of digital life and human life in a smart city infrastructure.
Internet of Things
Smart city visions also rely on new technology who can collect a lot of information in a timely manner. The amount of information on the internet is expected to grow in a big way, thanks to the IoT. IoT means that everything – or everyone – will become beacons and data collection devices. Gathering data from surroundings and networking all of it via the cloud shows just how much IoT is a driving force of smart infrastructure. So it’s important that companies are already beginning to explore possibilities!
However, because of the relationship between internet service providers, surveillance and private business, is going to be everywhere, several issues around privacy have to be considered.
The first element on our wish list for a smart city: autonomous cars!
First, we have to keep in mind that they will require adapted roads. The vehicles will need to communicate not only with each other but also with the city infrastructure. Battery-charging stations will also have to be built. Big parts of the physical infrastructure we know today will be digitalized in order to make the dream come true!
All the data collected will lead to decisions for a better use of space, fuel, energy, water, electricity. For example, being able to anticipate traffic jams and provide another way for drivers allows saving time, fuel (pollution) and reduces the impact on city infrastructure.
Another smart technology involving sustainability is solar panels that capture solar energy allowing streets to power themselves without using electricity.
The shift to smart infrastructure is not simply fashionable. In many ways, it appears to be a critical element of the future of sustainable smart cities. We can now envision an affordable future smart city vision for the citizens living in it.