A city is regarded as smart when its management takes advantage of the ever increasing innovations from technology.
From revamping their communication infrastructure to the distribution of resources with technology, these cities make strides in making life easier for its citizens.
A city’s smartness does not necessarily rub off on its citizens. In fact, most of the citizens you will see on these so-called smart cities are not any different from the ones you find in their dumb counterparts.
Which brings us to the question, ‘what really sets a city apart from others? What makes a city smart?’
A smart city is one which distinguishes itself from other regular cities. The difference may be seen in its technology, urban planning, and its environment.
All of these come under the umbrella of overall management.
The expectations upon a smart city to be cleaner, safer and more efficient than other cities are actualized through its application of new technology, and the race for cleaner and safer alternative for energy. Some of the characteristics of smart cities include;:
The government either erect buildings that have minimum negative impact on the environment during and after construction, or they enforce regulations mandating others to do so.
Older buildings are fitted out with better and efficient appliances, which help in the control of temperature.
Efficient Transportation System
The trademark of a smart city lies on this. Real time communication about public transportation, bike-sharing program, intelligent traffic lights and sensor-based parking space availability detection all serve in the makeup of a smart city.
More Efficient And Cleaner Utilities
A smart city endeavours at every turn to find cleaner alternative as regards energy. From the solar source to wind which it uses to ensure a cleaner atmosphere.
Smart cities are always at the forefront in the search for other alternative and cleaner sources of energy. Little wonder they are smart.
Its employment of smart grid technology is also an advantage and gives it a much deserved edge over the dumb cities.
Engagement Of Citizens
This trait is a smart move by smart cities to key into the general knowledge of their citizens to learn a thing or two. It is a well lauded effort to be responsive to its citizens' needs. Sometimes this comes through the social media, provision of desired social amenities like the street lights, and other initiatives.
These citizens are made to feel that they are part of the city and also bring their own ideas for the advancement of the city to the table.
These are just some of the ways smart cities have an edge over their counterparts. Cities like Vienna, Santiago, Seoul and Tokyo have these characteristics, especially the quest for cleaner energy sources.
Since it is economically rewarding, other cities are expected to follow till ‘smart cities’ become a norm.
This leaves much work for the smart cities of tomorrow. They will have to acquire new tools for the consolidation, organization and analysis of data streaming in from the city’s systems if they are to have any edge over other cities.