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Let's Talk About Smart City - Why Smart City

We already know what a smart city is from the previous article, but we should now explore why they will play an essential role in solving many of the challenges the world faces today and in the future.


Many of today's global challenges have their origins in population growth in urban areas. A lot of solutions have been put forward, such as e-bikes and congestion charges. So far, these solutions have had minimal impact.


One strategy that has been steadily gaining momentum is the development of smart cities. Artificial intelligence and advanced sensor technology are at a level where they can be widely deployed and used to gather data on a population's use and impact on a city's infrastructure.


Why Do We Need Smart Cities?


Growth predictions indicate that more than 60% of the world's population will reside in urban developments by 2050. Even today, with 55% of the world living in cities, the majority of the earth's population is already living in urban areas.

Large, concentrated populations present a considerable challenge when it comes to supplying basic amenities such as clean water, food, and energy. Stability in the environmental, social, and economic arenas will be integral to the success of a smart city.

The goal of a smart city is to create new ways to deliver a high-quality of life to its residents while using fewer resources and also maintaining an upward trend in economic growth.


As the city's population expands, it must continue to develop strategies and technologies that can access more value out of the existing infrastructure and services.

For example, one of the biggest challenges for city residents is to find safe and convenient parking, and queues during peak times are disruptive to productivity.


Smart parking solutions can integrate with ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) technology to provide access to authorized vehicles much faster than other technologies. More intelligent parking means that wait times at the gate is measured in tenths of a second, rather than minutes.


Governments are Getting Behind Smart Cities


Government at the federal, state, and local levels are beginning to realize how critical smart cities will be to sustainability. The public sector is increasingly supporting the private sector with fiscal incentives such as tax abatement, and qualified infrastructure bonds when they partner with governments to deliver smart systems to the city.

The Technology Powering Smart Cities


Smart cities are powered by sensor technology that can collect vast amounts of data in real-time. The data can then be analyzed to improve many areas, including transport, energy usage, waste management, law enforcement, and emergency services.

For example, first responders will now have situational awareness about traffic and crowds to accelerate their response time. During an emergency, it's common for everyone to show up and provide support, leading to some confusion as well as congestion. Smart technology will ensure a stronger command structure and more effective communication and coordination between the services to improve public safety.


There are four layers to creating a smart city:

  • Data Collection

  • Data Analysis

  • Communicate insights to decision-makers

  • Optimize operations based on insights


Data Collection


Smart sensors gather data throughout the city in real-time using CCTV cameras, video analytics, intelligent counters, sensing bicycles, and sensing vehicles, to name a few. Public transport tracks the number of people using buses and trains at points throughout the city. Real-time GPS also monitors the location of buses and provides an overview of what is happening and where.


Data Analysis


Data is analyzed and converted into actionable insights. Data needs to be reliable as analysis will be responsible for many long-term decisions. Analysis of the data can also help with creating prediction models — for instance, extra garbage collection services on certain days of the year, or how a crowd might react and disperse from an area during an emergency.


Communicating with Decision Makers


When the data analysis arrives at actionable insights, these are communicated to the decision-makers who can co-ordinate with services, allocate resources, and authorize development.


Take Action on the Insights


The main goal of data collection is to gain intelligence on how its citizens are using the city's resources. Insights help decision-makers devise solutions, improve sustainability, and manage the city's resources.


Top Smart Cities of the World


Most smart cities are found in China and the Middle East, but Toronto, Singapore, and Barcelona are all progressive cities and considered to be some of the world's smartest.


Singapore Leading the Charge


Singapore is considered by many to be setting the benchmark for smart cities. Sensors and IoT devices spread over the city landscape monitor cleanliness, the movement of local vehicles, and crowd density.


Singapore's smart technology helps businesses track energy, water use, and rubbish disposal, and all in real-time. The metropolis is also leading the charge in testing autonomous vehicles. Singapore's elderly is also a high priority, with smart systems able to monitor the state of health in its elderly residents.


Toronto Connecting its Citizens


Toronto is another excellent example of how cities can use smart technology to create a cleaner, safer, more efficient environment.


Toronto has implemented real-time monitoring of its traffic patterns and can adjust traffic signals according to the data provided by smart traffic signals. Citizens can monitor and understand their water usage down to the day, but also can keep tabs on weekly, monthly, or yearly usage.


Barcelona Creating Smarter Ways to Travel


The city of Barcelona in Spain makes use of smart systems to monitor bus travel. Smart bus stops provide free Wi-Fi, and USB charging stations and riders can receive live schedule updates. The city is also big on bike-sharing to promote cleaner modes of travel, while also helping to reduce congestion.  A smart parking app provides drivers with the ability to head straight to a vacant car park, and an online payment system adds another level of convenience.


Freely technology is committed to the development of smarter cities through smart parking solutions. Their goal is to create improved customer experiences, boost productivity times, and increase efficiency by using smart technologies to deliver faster, more secure access to parking. To know more about Smart City and Smart Parking Solution, Subscribe and follow us.


2020 Mar. 3th, Freely.io

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