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Smart Cities – the evolution of convenience

March 28, 2018

Cities are big complex things that seem impossible to regulate or fully understand. If only there was a way to observe what’s going on and generally make things better for the city and therefore its inhabitants. Fortunately, as technology has evolved most of the big cities have now transformed into Smart Cities in the world.

So what is a Smart City and what separates it from your “Average Jo” city?

Smart Cities have more technology than the average city and they use it to streamline daily processes, to make life easier for their inhabitants. By utilising different devices powered by IoT (Internet of Things) all technology within the city can function under the same premise.

IoT has had other small-scale uses, for example there are mobile apps that can connect you to your central heating and help you regulate it digitally. There are also smart voice assistants and speakers that also have the ability to carry out functional tasks on your demand.

Utilised by Smart Cities all over the world, IoT is fast becoming the revolution of convenience. An example of some of the IoT Smart City features can be seen in some of the street lamps. Phillips Lighting, which has already delved into the world of IoT with its Hue lights that can be activates through an app, is developing streetlamps in Singapore that turn on when someone is in need of their light, so when someone approached the device the lights come on.

This is great news for the environment and residents alike and just recently, we found out that Panasonic has teamed up with the people of Denver, Colorado to make a whole solar-powered community which is as impressive as it is green.

It’s easy to see the appeal of Smart Cities because of its green way of living if nothing else, however additionally Smart Cities will soon have the capacity to collect data to help its leaders to better govern and regulate their cities.This data can show a range of things such as crucial data on energy, transport and water,but can also give authorities information on more niche statistics like pollution.

By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities, therefore investing in key locations around the world is crucial. Yet one does wonder we aren’t seeing many Smart Cities around given their superiority? Obviously, any sort of large-scale change takes a while to be fully integrated. On top of this, the technology is very expensive to develop and install, and also takes a lot to organise effectively, so its factors like these that are preventing most authorities to follow through on the process.

For those cities to which these obstacles aren’t an issue, have started to install more of this technology into their communities. Such innovative cities include Oslo, San Francisco… and Milton Keynes. Yes, these superior cities have made their way to Britain, so we can expect our humble little isles to eventually become a tech-savvy smart metropolis.

Smart lights: http://www.ledsmagazine.com/ugc/2016/10/13/philips-lighting-and-sentosa-launch-first-smart-led-streetlights-in-singapore.html

Solar-powered community: https://www.power-technology.com/features/smart-cities-building-solar-powered-smart-district-denver/

Other sources:

http://equanima.org/el-huerto-tecnologico/smart-cities-brief-introduction

http://www.ioti.com/smart-cities/world-s-5-smartest-cities

http://www.information-age.com/advanced-smart-cities-world-123470745/