We live in a time that we still talk about smart cities as if they are concepts of the future. However, in the past few years, there has been so much development in this area that smart cities are already part of our reality. Smart cities enable local governments to develop a sensitive city.

The Future has Arrived

Smart cities bring along many advantages to the local government, as said before these cities enable the possibility to make a sensitive city. A sensitive city is one that helps local governments monitor many aspects of the city’s livability. This can include transport updates, charging stations and city information. However, a sensitive city can also go a step further than this. Smart and sensitive cities can provide help local governments to monitor its green spaces. This provides the possibility to monitor rainfall and humidity, allowing city workers to save resources by only watering when required.

In fact, this is already the reality in a few cities across the world. Barcelona is a great example of a smart and sensitive city. Over the past few years, the local government of this city has taken many steps in creating a sensitive city. The city deployed sensors across the city to get better insight and measure different aspects of the liveability of the city.

Barcelona Sensitive City

In Barcelona, citizens and visitors are usually not aware that they are surrounded by sensors when they walk around the city.

The local government of this city measures noise, traffic, pollution, crowds and even the number of selfies posted on the street. All of this is made possible due to the use of sensors. Across the city, there are curved plastics shields affixed to the lampposts at height of about 30 feet. This enables the local government to get a better insight on this matters. However, if you think that the information acquired by the local governments stops here, you are mistaken.

The local government of Barcelona has also plugged digital chips into garbage containers and soda-sized sensors into the asphalt under the parking spaces. All of these sensors are not visible to the citizen and visitor. However, they enable the city’s local government to gain important information. This information enables them to make the best decision towards improving the city.

Gaining all this insight on citizens provides the opportunity to Barcelona to be a sensitive city. The local government is able to anticipate in things such as traffic due to the information that they have collected from its citizens. Furthermore, the city is also sensitive in the aspect that they can improve the citizen’s lives based on actual collected data. The collected information does not only improve the lives of citizens. In fact, it also provides good base information to enable the local government to work more efficiently.

Glasgow Sensitive City

Barcelona is not the only example of a sensitive city. The city of Glasgow, UK, has also made developments in terms of making its city more sensitive. This city has introduced the use of smart lights. The use of smart lights is providing the citizens and businesses in this city with safety and security.

However, this is not the only advantage of making this sensor enabled smart lighting. With the use of this type of lighting, the local government is able to be more energy efficient, detect noise, movement, and air pollution. Furthermore, it also provides the integration of a operations center and provides Wi-Fi connection.

This is, however, just one example of the smart city projects in this city. The city of Glasgow is currently also running projects on community mapping, social transport, and city engagement.


These two examples provide an insight that smart cities are not phenomena of the future anymore. Instead, smart cities are becoming a reality. In fact, smart cities are providing the local governments to make transport their cities into sensitive cities. This provides the local government’s the opportunity to know more about its citizens, improve interaction and be more conscious of the liveability of the city. Most importantly, this information provides the needed opportunities to improve the life in the city. This is something that is important, especially when taken into consideration that it is expected that more people will move to cities in the upcoming years.