The question of what is the meaning of ‘smart city’ does not attract a universally acknowledged definition of a smart city. A smart city denotes different things to various people. Thus, the conceptualisation of Smart City varies from one city to another and one country to another. It varies in line with the degree of development, readiness to change and restructure, resources and ambitions of city residents. In essence, a smart city is furnished with basic infrastructure that gives a good quality of life, a sustainable and clean environment for smart solutions.
Cities have for a long time disappeared before they were considered to be geniuses. However, they are becoming smart pretty fast. In a matter of years, mayors alongside other officials within cities throughout the world have started drawing on the amount of data at their disposal. They include details about income, Smart Traffic, fires, burglaries, illnesses, parking citations and much more in tackling most of the issues associated with urban life. Regardless of whether smart cities are making it much easier for inhabitants to locate parking places. Or guide health inspectors toward high-risk restaurants or providing smoke alarms to households that are likely to experience fatal fires. Technologies used in big-data are starting to change the way cities function. Cities have merely scratched the surface in terms of using data to enhance operations, however, big changes are now underway in the leading smart cities.
Connectivity is the foundation of an effective smart city. Different elements in the city must have the ability to connect and communicate. Also, remote access by individuals monitoring and preserving the infrastructure is important. People need to engage with the technology for them to reap operational as well as financial benefits smart city offers (remote diagnostics, automatic alarms, maintenance and reduced cost of dispatch, etc.). Analysts and developers have the ability to gather data generated competently and in real-time to create innovative ways of using the data and offer new insights. One of the technology firms in this endeavor is Qualcomm Technologies. It provides smart city solutions to allow smart network connectivity and control processing solutions within cities all over the world.
Automatization trends of Smart city
Even though cities have been utilizing data in various ways for decades. The latest practice in civic analytics has begun to take effect in the past couple of years, because of technological transformations. Among them: the development of cloud computing that has dramatically lowered the cost of storing information. The latest developments in machine learning give city officials innovative analytical tools. Also The Internet of Things together with the increase of inexpensive sensors capable of tracking a lot of information like traffic, gunshots or air pollution. And widespread utilization of smartphone apps as well as mobile devices that allow citizens and city employees alike to evaluate problems and provide feedback.
Development in smart cities is making them find more ways of using the sizable quantities of data available to them. Here is an example of the way the information revolution is altering the manner in which cities are run. Perhaps the most advanced way cities are using data is to forestall problems. Consider the likelihood of death by fire. The availability of smoke alarms plays an essential role in preventing such deaths.
In the same way people are embracing Fitbits and various other wearables to manage their health, cities, also, are using sensors to monitor their vital signs. Through the Internet of Things, water pipes with sensors can establish leaks, electric meters can monitor power use, and even parking meters can inevitably flag violations.
Some actual problems of Smart City
Cities looking to adopt IoT technology face a number of hurdles, especially regarding data analytics and smart services investment. First, the storage, transfer, and protection of such huge amounts of data need a very well established network infrastructure. Also, cultural challenges must be overcome if cities are to work as smart. For instance, business silos need to be broken if all the information gathered from an urban setting to realize its full potential. There are various data owners, sensor manufacturers, and stakeholders involved in the development of a smart city. All the interests must function together with a holistic way to develop a city that provides more for its own inhabitants. Although creating a smart city tends to be an expensive venture. There are means we can reduce costs including utilization of pre-existing infrastructure. It is possible to create partnerships between public and commercial organizations to create the necessary networks.
Criticism & Controversies of Smart City
All the data collection raises plausible privacy concerns. Many cities have policies to protect citizen privacy and hinder leakage of information that may identify any one person. In theory, anyway. In the real sense, even publicly available data that lacks personally identifiable details, a tech-savvy individual can use them after combining it with data sets. That helps the tech-savvy individual figure out a lot of information about any person.