Smart Cities: 5 Examples on Smart City Solutions for a Better Future
Smart cities are urban areas that aim at collecting and analyzing large quantities of data from citizens and different industries. Smart cities then use the data as well as advanced technology to provide the best of services for their citizens and solve the problems that they might face. A smart city uses different types of methods to improve transportation, energy efficiency, resilience, water management, as well as achieve inclusiveness. This has led experts around the world to start pushing towards building more smart cities, especially because they are proving to be enablers in accelerating economic growth and improving quality of life for the citizens.
So here are 5 examples on smart city solutions to create a better future for the citizens and next generations:
1- Smart buildings:
As humans, we are transitioning into a new age where buildings will no longer be mere shelters for sleep and comfort. In fact, the architecture industry is taking advantage of the progress in technology to move towards smart building in order to achieve better quality of life. For example, unlike traditional buildings, smart buildings collect information about what goes on in the building between different systems. The information is then used to optimize the building’s performance and make automated adjustments across the building. Most importantly, smart buildings have all the main systems within them connected, such as water meters, power, lighting, and cooling and heating, which makes the building a lot more efficient and reduces maintenance costs.
2- Traffic management:
The population’s rising number is causing an increase in traffic congestion in all cities across the world. To solve this complex situation, city leaders have been showing a lot of inclination to implement traffic analytics to improve road safety, decrease traffic congestion, and improve air quality. This is where traffic centers play a major role, as these centers can collect and analyze data and share traveler information to the public. This allows the city to direct traffic in dynamic ways and reduce traffic congestions and accidents. In addition, different types of sensors can be placed in a wide variety of locations and street furniture in the cities, such as road signs and traffic lights, to collect real-time data and direct vehicles down different and less congested routes.
3- Smart waste management:
Waste management can be costly for most cities. This is why a growing number of cities around the world are starting to test smart waste management systems and solutions to efficiently remove waste from the city. Smart bins, for example, are revolutionizing waste management, as they have fill-level sensors inside them that detect how full the waste bin is. The data collected by the sensors is then received by waste collection workers, which helps them optimize their services and waste collection frequency. On the other hand, smart bins also use compactors that work via solar panels, which enable the bins to hold more waste. The combination of the sensors and compactors leads to a decrease in the number of times waste needs to be collected as well as a decrease in the number of bins needed, which in turn leads to less traffic congestions through an optimized management of collection routes as well as to an improved environment with less unpleasant smells and reduced manpower costs.
4- Smart agriculture:
Achieving sustainable food production and global food security is an urgent task today, especially with the growing urban population. Smart cities are racing today to adopt smart technologies to solve this pressing issue. This is where smart agriculture comes into play, as it uses technologies such as sensors, robots, drones, and artificial intelligence to increase the quality and quantity of the food and optimize the human intervention. Smart agriculture also includes automated smart greenhouses, which eliminate the need for this human intervention by automatically controlling the environment according to the requirements of the crop. These smart greenhouses, which can be powered by wind or solar energy, also make it possible to grow customized crops year-round using fewer resources. Hydroponics are another smart agriculture method that can also help in urban farming as they can grow crops in nutrient-rich water without any soil.
5- Augmented reality:
As the augmented reality industry continues to develop, city leaders are starting to realize how important and beneficial this particular technology can be to transition into smart cities. In fact, when used in combination with Internet of Things, augmented reality will be able to support maintenance work, as it can display information and provide instructions to workers by highlighting faulty street lights, leaking water pipes, solar panels, etc. Augmented reality could also share detailed information with emergency workers about danger spots, explaining and providing specific details on emergencies, such as fires and crimes among many others, which could make the jobs of emergency workers a lot easier and safer.
Focus on the Outcomes
It is true that smart cities and their infrastructure require big investments. However, they are currently considered key to sustainable development. In fact, they are lately gaining a lot of attention as they provide many solutions and benefits for the citizens. They not only make a difference by merging various technologies to improve the level of services they provide, but they also improve quality of life and improve the economic situation. They also make infrastructure safer and reduce rates of crime. This is why city leaders are today more interested on focusing on the outcomes and working towards incorporating technology and Internet of Things solutions to get meaningful insights that would help them create sustainable smart cities that focus on citizens and their needs.