A few days ago, my friend and I decided to party at her new flat. Everything was organized for the day- food, music etc. It was few more minutes to reach her place, when she clicked on a few numbers on her phone. Curious to know as what she was doing, she asked me wait for the surprise. Exhausted after driving for an hour, I entered the house dazzling with light and the temperature of the AC just perfect to suit us after our travel. Well this was the surprise. Although I had heard about smart buildings and cities, I was in awe to see that one could automatically control the building’s simple operations such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other systems using automated processes.
Well, it seems that anywhere you turn, a new high-tech land is popping up. Of course there are many such cities in the wake of going smart, you must be wondering why it is even needed. In case if you are still thinking, let me help you in how the evolution of these smart cities is going to transform our lives in the long run.
Cities around the world attract migrants from rural and suburban areas. As a result urban places such as New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, New Delhi, Jakarta etc. have to deal with challenges like high population, air pollution and traffic congestion. With all these issues pertaining for the past few decades, it has led to many questions – How do we plan, create and manage cities which are safe, spacious, green and connected? How can we fulfill the vision of sustaining our planet?
Best practices and pioneering smart city solutions to tackle the challenges-
The places we live are changing, wherein we are creating connected cities that are cleaner, convenient and secure. According to the UN, the global urban population was 3.92 billion in 2015 and will grow to 6.25 billion in 2050. The goal is not only to build an urban area that provides a high quality of life for residents, while generating economic growth but also to address issues such as health, well-being, pollution, congestion, crime and social isolation.
As travel can be easy, parking woes can cause frustration. Smart cities are working with technologies to make car parking easier, quicker, less stressful, and cost effective while saving space. Smart parking sensors make use of infrared and magnetic equipments to detect car parking information.
Smart cities also include smart lighting, which is a technology designed for energy efficiency. It may include automated controls that make adjustments based on occupancy or daylight availability. In fact it is a good way to minimize and save light by allowing the householder to remotely control the energy.
It is a fact that smart cities can’t be built in a day. We may think of a new infrastructure to commute, housing plans, a path to project advanced technologies, but in the end we need to focus on people. Smart City concept is built upon a teamwork of various groups, such as academic circles, business, local government and citizens coming together to find the most efficient solutions for the future of the city.
Smart cities are also termed as Green cities. To use the energies more efficiently, it is necessary that these cities use renewable energies from wind, solar and thermal sources, as it supports reduced fuel consumption and cleaner air.
Why the concept of Smart Cities?
Smart cities make use of clean energy and keeps electricity and fuel usage to a minimum. This is made possible by initiating smart street lighting, effective use of waste collection and smart parking systems reducing driver’s search times and controlling traffic. These cities are also financially sustainable, as low energy usage means lower bills. Smart software and security updates help the smart devices to have a longer lifespan with less human intervention.
Smart cities are considered safe as they use modern techniques to reduce crime and accidents. With improved surveillance and intelligent monitoring, public areas are safer today and help planners to make further improvements.
The global smart city market is expected to grow from US$ 288.36 billion in 2017 to US$ 862.85 billion by the end of 2024 at a CAGR of 16.95%. The global smart city market is studied on the basis of smart buildings, smart citizen services, smart transportation and smart utilities. The market forecasting is based on a market model derived from market connectivity, dynamics, and identified influential factors around which assumptions about the market are made.
To conclude in a simple way, smart cities provide an attractive and clean place to live, while making the most efficient use of the space and resources they have. To make this possible, everything and everyone needs to work together by contributing ideas and finding competent solutions. So do you have any ideas to make your city a smart and safe place to live?