In recent years, cities around the world have been implementing “smart” cities concepts to become more efficient. Smart cities refer to a comprehensive system of public services and facilities that include information technology, big data, and advanced grid maintenance and control. A smart city is an integrated urban area that utilizes various forms of sensors and electronic means to gather data quickly and effectively. Such insights gained from such data are then used to efficiently manage resources, assets, and services; thereby, in turn, this information is used to enhance the overall performance across the entire city.
Smart cities also face major challenges such as governance, financing, and real estate management. A smart system requires comprehensive planning, especially when it comes to public services and facilities. The efficiency of these systems, after all, hinges on an integrated management approach. It also requires the right amount of staffing, financing, and real estate. These integrated cities are set up with certain basic criteria such as:
Many cities around the world are now realizing the benefits of incorporating information technology into their daily operations. There is a need for comprehensive solutions offered by a smart city to create a sustainable model for the future. Smart solutions help determine the future of cities; therefore, they provide a key solution to the current issues concerning transportation, electricity, water, healthcare, tourism, and communication. Together with existing technology, smart city technologies can provide solutions for issues such as:
A smart city makes use of technological innovation and integration to deliver public services more efficiently and effectively. In this scenario, information technology is used in a way that enhances city services while creating more economic value for the citizens. Information technology solutions provide solutions to problems concerning the overall management of a city by collecting, storing, transmitting, and sharing data. These data can be accessed from any location, thus allowing people and decision-makers to make better decisions, and thereby increase efficiency and improve service quality.
Besides information technology, smart solutions also include the use of wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets. These devices are made available to the general public, allowing citizens to access and share information about services, events, and utilities. Another advantage of smart cities is that it enables citizens to obtain accurate information regarding specific locations. This can be achieved through GPS technology, which is usually installed in traffic signals. Through this system, people can know the location of a person or vehicle.
Smart cities aim at creating smart systems, which can improve services, eliminate redundancy, and increase productivity. In line with these goals, there are many companies around the world offering smart solutions to cities. These companies have been granted permits by different governments in different cities around the world, to install sensors and other equipment to monitor, collect and analyze real-time data about their localities. Some of the most popular equipment being used are traffic lights, closed-circuit cameras, door intercoms, lighting systems, and surveillance equipment. With these data, they can implement improved road conditions, improve communication between citizens and local authorities, reduce costs, and enhance safety. With smart solutions and smart city initiatives, cities can achieve smart goals such as improving services, providing better services, and cutting costs, all of which will create a more livable and thriving society.