The advent of Smart Cities

Aniket Raj
Jul 7, 2018 · 7 min read

As technology continues to improve accordingly life we see new smart city opportunity every day. A Smart city is integrating design and technology in the urban fabric itself. Such that you are able to create a city with a higher quality of life than cities in the past. This entire encompasses things like Eco-city or Green-city because all of them are inherently smart. Change is happening fast.

Image Source-ARC Advisory Group

What is a Smart City?

A Smart city is a city where information is not only available but also find-able. And, where people are able to use that information. It provides you with affordable housing quality education, economic perspective, and better job opportunities. It should also provide cultural space, entertainment, and of course a clean and safe environment.

What constitutes Smart City?

In this section, you’ll go through the brief description of facilities available in Smarty City and how it is different from a regular city as well.

  1. Few important facilities include-adequate water supply, assured electric supply, hygiene, including solid waste management and efficient public transport.
  2. Smart parking: There will be systems that will alert drivers when there is a free parking spot. Citizens will no longer waste their time looking for a place to park and the city will be less polluted. Did you know that by reducing the average time required to park a vehicle from 15 to 12 minutes can reduce CO2 emissions by 400 tonnes in a city such as Barcelona?
  3. Smart street lights: Because of the sustainable nature of the smart city so feature also includes minimizing wastage of electricity, water, and paper. Smart urban lighting will adjust the intensity of the light depending on the people who are around and automatically switches off when nobody is present around it.
  4. Smart IOT’s hub: Huge network of an Internet of things(widgets) connected with each other co-ordination themselves to provide better and efficient facility. e.g. Smart Parking- Its advantage include notifying the car owner’s if the car gets too close to walls where it may get damaged; Traffic management: Monitoring traffic system live will inform the driver about which route is best for that time. It also includes management of traffic lights so as to reduce traffic in rush areas by routing vehicles to other routes.
  5. E-Governance: Exchange of information between government and public electronically. e.g. Citizens don’t have to personally visit City Council to inform for any damage in cities now,systems will automatically notify City Council for any damage in the city.
  6. Automated Drones- Drones have quickly become pervasive for both leisure and serious use. It has multiple uses in Smart cities such as keeping eye on a city so that nothing could go wrong in the city, helps in finding criminals, can be used for package delivery, and can be used to notify citizens how much they will have to wait for public transport.
Image source-

What makes Smart City different?

Below in this table I’ll explain difference between general cities and smart cities-

Is it even necessary?

There are two aspects of everything, good and bad as well. We always try to prefer things which have more good aspects than bad.

Why Smart City?

So, in the case of Smart Cities-

Yes! actually, we are indeed of smart cities it”ll make life more comfortable and environment as well. Below are few advantages of developing Smart City :

  1. Balance the Climatic Change- Climatic change is the primary issue. There is a 2%-7% Fahrenheit increase in normal temperature which is the core cause of many climatic disasters. Glaciers present today have taken centuries to form. They keep on melting, forming rivers and lakes, and are essential for human survival in many places around the world. Melting glaciers at a faster rate than normal have certain disadvantages, such as Global warming, fresh water shortage, and a rise in sea level.
Image source-Homesfy
  1. Housing for the all-The sole aim of Smart City is “housing for all”. More than 70% of the Indian population would be living in cities by 2050. Due to the rising urbanization, a better standard of habitat is required. To support this rising shift of urbanization we will need sustainable housing, like that of Smart Cities.
  2. Few reasons for the need of Smart Cities are adequate water supply, sanitation, 24x7 electricity, no traffic congestion etc.
  3. “There’s no Smart City, without Smart people”-So, human-centered innovations not just indeed of Smart City, citizens need development must be smart and sustainable as well i.e. development must be done keeping in mind for future generation so that they can also live happily with all the necessary resources of survival.

How Smart City-?

We need Smart Cities but, the question is how cities can be smart. In this section of the article, we’ll go through how cities can renovate to smarter than before-

  1. You cannot be Smart without being Sustainable” — Sustainable development is a development that meets the need of present without comprising resources for future generations. Making cities sustainably smart will allow our future generations to have a good life.
  2. Not a One Day task to complete- Every day is your day to make a city more even better. As said making cities smarter is a continuous process of sustainable and economic development. So, we all citizens need to come together and innovate our city smarter.

Some existing Smart City projects :

Although many places like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Columbus(Ohio), Dublin, Manchester, and many places are innovating their cities to smarter than before. In this section, we’ll learn about the few existing Smart City projects in detail:

Image source-Amsterdam Smart City
  1. The Amsterdam- This project was initiated in 2009 named, Amsterdam Smart City- the project is an open collective for positive city change. More than 150+ projects collaboratively developed schools, streets, wireless IOT’S, and many widgets which made life easier and better than past. Some initiatives are flexible street lights-which allows flexibility in brightness accordingly rush present out there, live traffic monitoring-it notifies citizens about streets which suffer congestion in traffic and also suggest the best route for drivers.
  2. The Dubai- In the race of becoming Smart City, Dubai is also leading and developing new applications and features every day. In October 2013, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced a project to transform Dubai into a ‘smart city’. The purpose of the project was primarily to provide seamless services to the public.
Image source-

Smart City Dubai is a leading innovation program collaborating IOT and connectivity, urban automation and mobility.Smart features of this initiative include-

  • Wi-Fi-This initiative would allow locals to use free wi-fi services at public places and will make citizens to always stay connected to Dubai.
  • Live traffic monitoring, Smart parking, and Electric car charging stations.
  • I-Dubai- I-Dubai would provide information relating to the services of the municipality.

3. The Taiwan- Nowadays Taiwan is not just a normal city it has also transformed itself into a Smart City in the row of becoming smart. Despite her imperfection in size, Taiwan is for sure going to transform itself into a Smart City.

Image of Solar Panel(right)/ Image source-

The initiatives that Taiwan has taken are-

  • Urban Governance & Public Service, Urban transportation management system, Energy Management, and Environmental Management.
  • Smart Surveillance- Integrating 14,000 cameras at selected 11,500; a smart solution to law enforcement and crime prevention.
  • Smart Solar Energy- Many places such as Wenshan district (Taipei City) solar panels are installed that stores solar energy and provides lightening at night.
  • Electronic Toll Collection- This enables drivers to pay toll tax for roads automatically when they pass by. This reduced man power, time and economical as well.

4. The Barcelona- Barcelona is the first city in Spanish states coined “Smart City”. But, it’s not necessarily the technology that makes a city “Smart”. Barcelona Transport System recently created orthogonal bus network, which made public transportation more frequent and easier to use. Here traffic system is also allowing emergency services to reach the destination without any delay. A new form of transport Bicing, a sustainable and economical form of transport, designed for citizens to travel short distances without consuming any energy.

Image of Bicing(Left) & Smart bus(right)/Image source- and

Conclusion :

Within few years, Smart Cities concept has gained a lot of attention. Cities are innovating smart plans, sustainable plans, and providing comfort to livelihood. It is also clear that we all have to come together to make our city smarter and sustainable. The complexity of concept is hindering its implementation also. It’ll also require many stakeholders, the huge budget of money with its proper use.

Smarter Cities is not a far concept to achieve if, we can make our every day smarter than before.

Acyclic Labs

Building Pioneers on Technology

Aniket Raj

Written by

I am fun loving, hardworking, down to earth guy and aiming a good career goals to be achieved honestly and smartly.

Acyclic Labs

Building Pioneers on Technology

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