More than half of the world’s population currently lives in a city. This number is steadily increasing because it offers easier access to goods and services, work and entertainment.
Metropolises are growing, so there is not enough space for new skyscrapers, parking lots and streets. Green areas are diminishing, the air is becoming more polluted, and the amount of garbage is increasing, with nature suffering greatly. Densification of population also brings with it dangers in the form of vandalism, or an increase in the number of crimes committed.
Governments have long been looking for solutions to the problems that most cities currently face. Fighting the dark sides of today’s locales is the starting point for creating places that are both people and nature friendly.
A place is smart when it first and foremost invests in people and society at large. Such areas actively promote a high quality of life and sustainable economic development based on the wise management of natural resources and the use of renewable energy, whether solar or wind. This innovative idea is a response to the challenges that traditional cities have to face.
Creating places that are safe, that provide efficient communication, and that operate on the basis of renewable energy is an increasingly popular goal for those in power. Using technology to improve the quality of life and make more effective decisions is no longer just utopia but a tangible reality. Cities such as Singapore, Zurich or Oslo are showing the rest of the world that smart city already exists and is not just a pipe dream.
The example of Singapore shows how 5.85 million people can live comfortably in an area of 719 km2 thanks to technology and the right decisions. The most important factor that improves the quality of life is the fact that Singapore’s government uses a digital platform that enables fast and efficient delivery of services and constant flow of data. Information obtained through such technology, among others, improves public transport, ensures safer shopping online. Thanks to data on residents’ preferences, services or products are accurately delivered to the right area.
Another overarching goal of the cities of the future is to provide solutions that reduce the cost of living and maintenance. Thanks to the data collected by the platforms, it is possible, among other things, to monitor the consumption of water, electricity, or gas, provide information on unnecessary leaks, failures, to ultimately optimize the flow of resources. Lower expenses automatically mean better economic situation of the society.
Smart city also aims to save time. People living in big cities spend a large part of their lives in traffic jams, wasting precious hours of their day. One example of a smart solution could be the introduction of self-driving electric cabs into everyday life, which avoid accidents by constantly accessing data about the traffic situation, among other things.
A lot of time is also wasted looking for free parking spaces, especially during rush hour. With smart solutions you can check in real time where the nearest free parking spaces are. Not only does this help you find a parking space faster, but it also allows you to book, pay for and reduce your mileage, saving time, money and the environment.
Speaking of improving the security of smart places we mean the constant access to monitoring and alarm systems, which minimizes the opportunity to commit crimes or acts of vandalism. The very fact of constant observation of larger and larger areas, sensitizes alleged offenders and removes the desire to do harm to others, because the detection of villains is now easier than ever before.
The idea of smart cities is a quantum leap towards complete digitization and automation of everyday affairs. There are already metropolises built from scratch in the spirit of smart: Sondgo in South Korea, or Masdar in the United Arab Emirates.