At this year’s CES, plenty of smart city talk was stirring. While it’s great that the language is entering mainstream conversations, it’s also important that we define our terms and really come to an agreed-upon understanding of just what a smart city even really is. There are a huge number of different definitions out there, though there are certainly common themes and understandings of what impact a smart city may have on the world. Much like smart homes, there are a ton of factors that can contribute to whether or not a city is considered “smart.” Let’s take a look at the effect a smart city may have on the daily life of its inhabitants and elsewhere in the world.
The Main Goals
It’s easy to look at specific technologies or policies that could be implemented within a smart city to understand what it’s all about, but it may be more helpful to begin with the actual goals that are considered during the development phase. Making services more efficient, accessible, and sustainable are big parts of smart city development. That means better mobility to help folks get around safely and securely, which in turn helps promote economic growth and the reputation of the city as a whole. Cities of the future should be easy to traverse, promote business growth, and take environmental sustainability into mind without sacrificing efficiency.
The Tech Behind It All
When we talk about the technology behind cities like this, we’re usually referring to three ideas: IoT sensors, data, and connectivity. Connectivity means ramping up Internet access throughout the entire city. Data refers to the storage and analysis of all of our information in real-time. IoT sensors are the actual devices we interact with, which can contribute to better waste management, easier parking, more efficient heating and cooling systems, and a better sense of overall security.
Any goal surrounding smart city development is really just reaching at one central idea: livability. Livability is the benchmark for which we judge a city; it’s the overall quality-of-life for both residents and visitors to that city. Any smart city tech or policy should be geared towards making a city more livable.
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