There is a need to recognize the contributions of the smart city concept to urban planning. This article discusses the interrelationships that exist between the two and how it could be determined that urban planning meets the threshold of being smart. A smart city enables the collection of real-time data via software systems, infrastructure network, and server substructure. In essence, it makes a combination of intelligent environment and production of service possible. Through instrumentation and interconnectivity of mobile devices and sensors, solution implementation is made possible. However, there needs to be an urban planning schema in place, to make this work. Planning encompasses parameters such as population, the capacity of the environment, cohesion in the finances and other public networks like transportation.

Principles and dimensions of urban planning

In the planning for smart cities the environmental protection concerns should be addressed. Keeping the concept of smart cities in mind, the planners must look at the quantitative variables such as livability, quality of life, environmental quality and the biodiversity concerns. The delimiting of zones for urbanization should be given priority. Secondly, serious concerns should be levelled towards sustainability in the development of residential areas. When planning for the smart cities, there should be a great application of timeline to cover the expectations and residential needs of the future generations. Thirdly, capitalization of resources (capacity). This is supposed to provide a balance between the human and natural resources’ allocation. It therefore touches on the issue of decentralization and demographic allocation, farming, residential allocations and water. Finally, the issue about coherence in the growth of the region with respect to the landscape and history, should be given consideration. Most of the urban planners must take special note of archaeological sites, parks and forests; and the traditional settlements in their quest to pave way for the development of smart cities. There ought to be a proper projections of each of the above discussed elements.

Smart city transportation alignment

According to smart planning, the alignment of the smart city to planning will consider the provision of the following services: intelligent transportation, which will ensure that monitoring of traffic; optimization and measurement; e-government services that will be used for public procurement and job hunting; e-health and telecare services for the needed distant support initiative especially, the elderly who are ailing; e-security for the safety of the public and the e-learning for distant education. If all these are realized and harmony achieved, it will be deemed that city planning is smart.

Major players in creating smart planning

Dwellers of these smart cities should have a good feeling about the plans that are laid down and their implementations. There should be a system that projects the running of the smart city, the problems faced by the dwellers, how the cities work, and the necessary changes that could be effected for the sound working of the cities. Some of the entities that make good use of the cities are: local government, community organizations, entrepreneurs, and the business community. The most instrumental players in the smart cities are the telecommunications and IT companies, technical services from the municipalities, utilities, leadership of the municipalities and the providers of the grid-infrastructure. They have a responsibility of addressing those pressing or development issues in the within the context of the smart city. All the stakeholders should be encouraged to participate in the planning of the smart city because there are consequences that will arise out of the changes that will be registered and in the end affecting the dwellers. If these were to be achieved by the management team of the planners of the smart city, it would be right to say that they would be heading towards achieving the “smart concept” in planning.

Impact of smart planning

Proper planning will ensure that there will be efficiencies in smart energy production and wise usage through smart lighting. There will be connectivity of intelligent electricity systems to the supply grid, targeting the end users. Environmental concerns will be addressed based on the set regulations and rules. The water and sewerage management will receive a boost from the smart technologies too.This will avoid water wastage that will be monitored in real time awareness, for the purposes of control. The coordination will be done through the suppliers of water and the companies that deal with waste management; service providers and the local government. With regard to the area of improved smart security, the response time will be improved as per the requirements of the people who are affected, in times of emergencies.

Conclusion

The future of smart cities should be enshrined in the concept and implementation of smart planning. The planners should consider biodiversity, quality of life, sustainability, environmental quality, capitalization and the livability. For this to be realized, there should be a concerted effort from all the stakeholders that will be affected by the changes. In the end, there will be very fruitful results that will qualify the “smart city” concept, through smart planning.

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