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What is a smart city?

A smart city is a digitally-enabled urban area. In brief, it’s a community that uses modern information technology for improving city life. Smart city technology uses various electronic methods to collect and process urban data. The acquired information is further used to work on urban infrastructure improvements and enhance residents’ experience in the city. Thus, smart city solutions offer ways to tackle long-standing issues, enhance overall city operations, and recognize the growing needs and demands.

A smart city is meant to optimize the utilization of community resources and develop new urban strategies using the gathered interconnected information. As a result, such an approach offers a better understanding of urban operations and offers a modern way to create contemporary areas with technologically-advanced infrastructure.

How does a smart city work?

The work of smart cities consists of the following workflow:

  • collection – smart sensors gather real-time data,
  • analysis/processing,
  • discussion, and
  • action.

So, the first step is to install the necessary technologies in the right places and collect real-time data. The collection can be done through citizens and devices as well as via utilities, traffic management, transportation systems, schools, community services, etc.

Next, the collected data is processed and analyzed. Thus, authorities receive valuable insights into city work, its operations, and services.

After the breakdown of the data, its results are sent to the appropriate departments to promote discussion among decision-makers.

Finally, the discussion stage turns into decision-making that leads to actions. The final stage aims to utilize the acquired data and improve urban operations for enhancing life quality.

Thus, an efficient combination of how city authorities use technology and apply it for governing purposes is what makes a city smart.

Components of a smart city

The combination of automation and IoT allows city authorities to utilize modern technology via various applications in most urban areas. Overall, solutions for a smart city can take place in most urban aspects.

Smart city technology examples include smart parking, smart healthcare, smart energy systems, digital government, smart farming, smart buildings, and much more. These smart city features allow better contribution of the resources, enhanced safety measures, and improved management.

Overall, the majority of smart city initiatives are aimed at reducing congestion, enhancing sustainable approaches, crime reduction, energy conservation, security measures provision, including natural disasters, etc.

Examples of smart city

Urban areas are growing in population each year. More cities are choosing to go digital to tackle their rising issues and needs.

Here are six smart city examples that have already embraced new technological approaches in urban governing:

  1. Singapore
  2. Zurich
  3. Oslo
  4. New York
  5. London
  6. Copenhagen

These cities were among the first ones to rely on smart city applications. Now, they use this opportunity to pursue top city goals such as

  • higher sustainability levels (Oslo, Copenhagen);
  • full automotive experience (Copenhagen);
  • advancing the economy and digitizing healthcare (Singapore);
  • eco-city development (Singapore);
  • efficient energy consumption (Oslo, London);
  • waste management (New York); and
  • crime prevention (New York).

Each of these places is a perfect example of a smart city in the 21st century.

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