Where Do Smart Cities Go from Here?

Urbanisation is predicted to increase from 64% in the developing nations to an estimated 86% in the developed countries by the year 2050.

With the surge in global population, cities are faced with the need to upgrade their infrastructure and services. After experiencing one of the most gruelling periods of the last century, the idea of smart cities is gaining more relevance. Nevertheless, governments must be equipped with the required resources and technology to proficiently manage the changes brought about by the pandemic.

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic’s hurdles, smart cities will offer individuals an opportunity to recover, though it may transpire at a gradual rate.

Issues with Conventional Urban Environments

What are the issues associated with conventional cities, precisely? If we persist in living in the past, nothing will ever change.

Over the years, remote working has experienced a remarkable increase, coupled with a change in communication patterns, a substantial surge in the usage of devices and technology, and other modifications to the norm, including the global pandemic.

As technology continues to evolve, and our society experiences changes,
it becomes imperative to embark on new methods of thinking, conducting ourselves, and engaging with others.
Smart urban planning is fundamental to this effort.
It’s therefore critical to find a way to make this approach more flexible.

What does the term “Smart City” mean?

“Smart” technology and innovations make up the infrastructure of a smart city, which includes:

The IoT (Internet of Things)
• Cloud computing
• Artificial intelligence

Cities can utilise this design to create environments that foster community development and drive growth, while fulfilling the needs and wants of the residents.
An instance of an innovation contributing to the development of a smart city is an energy-efficient smart grid and self-driving cars alongside other technologies that assist individuals in attaining their objectives more efficiently in their daily routines.

A survey by Oracle, covering officials from 82 countries and 167 cities, disclosed that 65% considered smart cities crucial to realising their respective objectives.

What Lies Ahead, and What Does the Future Hold?

As smart city initiatives gain traction around the world, technologists, innovators, governmental leaders must work together to cater to the requirements of communities and the global populace.

Integration of Long-Term Consequences

Smart towns are utilising “green technology” that helps to foster ecological sustainability. This technology facilitates the surveillance of energy consumption, air quality, and other crucial factors that aid in waste reduction and sustainability promotion.

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Several smart city innovations, such as smart thermostats and energy networks, contribute significantly to a sustainable future.

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Equality and Inclusivity

It’s evident that achieving environmental goals involves numerous intricate factors, with the impact of diversity and equality being particularly significant. For instance, data reveals that black Americans are more likely to reside in densely populated and polluted urban regions than white Americans, with the ratio being 2.5 times higher.

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Several initiatives to create smart cities are motivated by the desire to promote inclusivity and equity. Leaders are exploring ways to improve the living standards of various communities while addressing the challenges they encounter.

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Fostering a Sense of Belonging

Connectivity forms an integral component of smart city initiatives, which aim to enhance public confidence and encourage citizen participation by enabling open communication between communities, authorities, and ecosystems. Technological advancements play a crucial role in this regard.

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Kiran Jain, Head of Policy and General Counsel for Replica, a company spinoff of Google’s Sidewalk Labs, recommends that smart cities practitioners concentrate on rebuilding public trust through transparency and a dedication to privacy – a critical ingredient in the development of the smart cities movement.

Keywords: Kiran Jain, smart cities movement, public trust, transparency, privacy, Replica, Sidewalk Labs. Note: “Alphabet” was replaced by “Google” as it is the parent company of Sidewalk Labs.

Challenges and Remedies in Smart Cities

Smart cities offer several advantages, but they may also pose certain challenges. Governments that try to advance too quickly or lack the required data and technological infrastructure can face complications.

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According to Jeremy M. Goldberg, the Director of Critical Infrastructure at WWPS, government officials should keep in mind the following three principles:

Keywords: Jeremy M. Goldberg, government officials, guidelines, Critical Infrastructure, WWPS.

To benefit humanity, we must build

• Enabling creativity
• Solving real problems

Focus on the Vital Metrics

Goldberg stresses the significance of using evidence for critical decision-making and underscores the intricacy of cities. To gain valuable insights, gathering and analysing large quantities of data and quickly accessing computing resources is crucial. It’s important that decision-makers have access to dependable information and engage with the community to make informed decisions.

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Intelligent use of data is crucial for the development and progress of smart cities, and is vital for community prosperity and the construction of necessary infrastructure.

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Build Partnerships

Collaboration between businesses and organizations is crucial for the success of smart city initiatives. These projects require significant initial investment but have the potential for substantial economic benefits. Public-private partnerships can help sustain the development of smart cities in the long run. Partnering between governments and digital companies, for instance, could foster an environment that promotes innovation and endurance.

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Build Trustworthiness

Building trust with residents and business partners is essential for creating a sustainable smart city.

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Maintaining trustworthiness and transparency is critical, and safety is of utmost importance. It’s understandable that the general public may have concerns about their personal data security while making online purchases or engaging in other digital activities.

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Guidelines were issued by the Dutch Data Protection Agency to safeguard the security of smart cities and protect the personal data of citizens, driven by the potential implications of this technology.

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Security and standards will prove to be the foundation for a sustainable smart city that endures indefinitely.

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Smart City Technology Is Easier to Access Than You Expect

Amsterdam, Barcelona, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, the Big Apple, and Singapore.

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These are just a few examples of “smart” cities that exist today, and their number continues to grow. Governments are reinvesting in their infrastructure, recognizing that their citizens are the foundation of their cities, and the pandemic is slowly becoming a distant memory. People are starting to recognize that the concept of “smart cities” is more than just a fleeting trend.

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The significance of the potential benefits cannot be exaggerated. It’s entirely feasible to achieve the desired results that could result in enhanced quality of life, safety, and sustainability for future generations.

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