10 examples of smart city
Both the media and this blog offer regular coverage of developments in smart city communication. But beyond the challenges of collecting and using data that comes from modern city dwellers, shouldn’t we also highlight the projects that truly improve quality of life? Let’s go on a brief world tour to illustrate the wide range of approaches smart cities have taken to social issues!
1 – Dijon
In this typical city in the Burgundy region of France, the main idea is to mobilize control centers to better centralize information and optimize transport and other services (by informing inhabitants of their environmental impact, for example). A project making the best use of collected data, security, climate, traffic, access and closure information are all available to anyone in real time.
2 – Rennes
As is now the case for many smart cities, Rennes has a “digital twin”. An exact digital replica of the real city, this twin enables the testing of any modification to the urban landscape, so decision makers can understand possible impacts on the environment and climate (like the wind). Thus, the construction of a new building or underground system is assessed for its overall integration within the city.
3 – Toronto
Remember when Google chose this Canadian city to build its city of the future, through its subsidiary Sidewalks Labs? (MAKE REFERENCE TO PUBLISHED PAPER) Modular buildings that change function, autonomous vehicles, and hyper-connection for all points of contact with the population are projects that will make Quayside a “laboratory city” for AI and Data.
4 – Louisville
An under-appreciated city in Europe, Louisville, USA is emerging as one of the most innovative cities in the world – notably for adopting concrete applications based on big data and the “If This, Then That” principle. Automated communication between the (smart) city and (smart) home creates value for everyone: when something happens, all inhabitants are automatically informed at home.
5 – Boston
MIT and Harvard, the world-renowned Boston schools, are well connected. Like the operations of these great universities, it is the link between public and private that seeds the development of Boston as a smart city. The “Connected Citizen” program, for example, is developed with Waze. Mobility within the city is being partnered with Uber.
6 – Santander
Northern Spain’s Santander quickly took the decision to install thousands of sensors across the city to solve its problems. Some measure humidity and trigger the watering of public spaces, while municipal lighting is only activated if pedestrians or vehicles are detected by other sensors. Garbage cans and parking spaces are also managed in this way, making the city smarter.
7 – Copenhagen
To be happy in a city of the future is to live in Copenhagen. In the kingdom of satisfied citizens, the use of data drives it forward. While resource management is at the heart of smart city projects, Copenhagen goes further by providing information on people’s journeys and energy consumption. Here, locals can track the calories they expend and the time they spend traveling, making them more relaxed and positive.
8 – Songdo
In this South Korean district of Incheon, Songdo has been fully imagined as a smart city laboratory since its inception. Everything has been designed to make inhabitants hyper-connected to all the city’s useful services, as well as their neighbors. You can order anything from your living room, and track all your appointments via a centralized interface that aggregates information from your merchants, company and address books. Equipped with cameras and sensors, your apartment can communicate with all the others!
9 – London
Not yet a Smart City, London is primarily known as the European capital of startups. It also aims to be the “best city in the world”. In 2010, innovative companies were encouraged to join the Tech City and create a new neighborhood called Silicon Roundabout – a real showroom for technology.
10 – Singapore
This city-state is a special case in the smart city world, since it manages the personal data of its citizens without any real restrictions. Becoming an essential force in biomedical research and Big Data, the city-state of 5.6 million inhabitants goes so far as to ban the use of the cloud, so as not to make the data public and strictly control its use. The colossal wealth of this unique city, however, allows it to invest in the most advanced technologies without limits.
There are many more examples of smart cities or towns heading down this path, and in France, several mayors of medium-sized towns have recently organized to assert their will to be included. For them as well, it’s not simply a question of collecting data, it’s about imagining projects that will be truly useful to citizens, by improving quality of life.
To read: What is a Smart City?