In a time in which we live, it’s a growing number of devices that have the name “smart”. When we already wear smart phones, live in smart buildings and work in a smart business area, why the whole city would not be – smart? A smart city (also called a ‘digital city’, ‘information city’, ‘intelligent city’) uses modern digital technologies to enhance wellbeing and performance, to reduce resource consumption and costs, and to engage its citizens more effectively.
The progress of science and technology has shown its true face at the beginning of the 21st century, in every sense. We live in a reality that was considered science fiction in the previous century, moreover, our everyday life is totally dedicated to the novelties from the world of technology and techniques. We discover new ways to use the infrastructure, as well as the further development mode and optimization of technology.
The concept of smart cities covers a wide range of communities and management models from large regions to small towns. Networked devices (so-called internet of things) already exist, the next goal is networked society and smart city as a part of its. ‘Smart’ sectors include energy, transport, health care, water supply, waste incineration, and so on.
The ultimate goal of the network society is a sustainable world, which brings together the three key factors – planet, people and profit. Interest in the development of smart cities is motivated by economic restructuring, climate changes and pressures on public finances. Also, rational way of energy consumption, which is wasted everywhere today, is one of the main problems of smart city. For example, new power plants cannot build in many cases, but it can be established such an electricity network that will distribute electricity more efficiently.
The concept of these cities combines a large number of sectors and institutions. So, let’s see what makes a smart city and its main modules.
- State (city) administration that is focused on information systems and perception of current needs of citizens and businesses.
- Smart buildings – related systems (heating, water, electricity, waste and other) within a building.
- Effective public safety – developed integrated security.
- Society and social programs – educate citizens about the new technologies that enable better connectivity.
- Healthcare – introduction of electronic medical records (EMR) in the health care system.
- The education system with information technology is an integral part of the smart city.
- Improving the efficiency of the transportation system using computer systems.
- Efficient use of energy and the interconnection of different energy sources into a single network.
- Environment – responsible attitude towards human environment and availability of critical information about the conservation of energy resources.
There are many smart cities in various parts of the world. The most important are: Suwon (South Korea), Seoul (South Korea), Mitaka (Japan), Ontario (Canada), Taipei (Taiwan), New York City (USA), Singapore, Glasgow (Scotland), Calgary (Alberta, Canada), etc. Recommended reading: The Paris Smart City 2050.
As you can see, most of the smart cities are located in the United States and countries of the Far East. However, a smart city can be any city in the world that uses the above-mentioned modules.