What are Smart Cities?
Evolving from the now widespread use of IoT, or the Internet of Things, smart cities are areas that integrate technology into their management systems in order to enhance their citizens’ living experience. From working conditions to energy efficiency, improved infrastructure and even revolutionised healthcare, smart cities have the potential to change and improve the way we live our day to day lives. So which smart cities are beginning to make an impact on a global scale?
Regularly topping the smart cities leaderboards, Singapore is renowned for being one of the most forward thinking smart cities in the world, with innovative uses of technology being used in almost every aspect of city living. As well as long term disaster prevention measures that work out which buildings are most at risk from the elements, Singapore’s smart cities initiatives aim to make everyday life that little bit more simple. Through the SingPass system, citizens can easily access government services, mobile banking and even their healthcare records, cutting down on both the costs and time spent dealing with bureaucratic processes. Singapore is even making steps to digitalise the city’s water management- the government is testing seawater desalination technology that only uses half the electricity of current systems. Processes like this show just how energy efficient and environmentally conscious smart cities can help us become.
Madrid is a key player among smart cities because of the way it makes use of technology primarily to deal with social issues. Madrid delivers public services like street maintenance, lighting, irrigation, cleaning and waste management to more than 3 million people; that’s a lot of people that need managing efficiently and sustainably each day. One of the main ways Madrid will go about this is through the use of real time updates to manage situations as soon as they happen. Let’s say a tree falls and blocks a road in the city centre. Citizens in the area will be able to take a photo of the incident, and upload it to a shared technology platform to give the authorities the information they need as soon as possible. Madrid’s government is also turning the city into a key player in the smart cities arena by making key improvements to the mobility and transportation around the city, cutting harmful emissions and encouraging tourism to the region.
Already a thriving metropolis, New York’s smart cities development focuses on large scale infrastructure overhaul, aiming to improve lighting, water quality, waste management and air pollution. Initiatives like this promise to change the way we see cities, and the issues that come with living in cities, for the foreseeable future. New York City uses 1 billion gallons of water each day; smart meters give every citizen an idea of their water consumption usage each day, saving both them and city hundred of dollars in overusage.
New York is also installing WiFi across the entirety of the city, making sure every single New York citizen has access to free Internet. All in all, processes and policies like this can help make the city a much safer, more energy efficient and cost effective place to live in.
Interested in learning more? Harnessing the power behind smart cities changes the way we see the world, and your business’s place in it. Explore CISto find out more about how your business can benefit from the digital revolution.