What Can You Expect From the Rise of Smart Cities?

The goal of a smart city it is ultimately to improve quality of life. It does this through the use of digital, information and communication technologies to improve services, manage its asset network, reduce costs and protect the environment. These technologies provide data and real-time updates on things like traffic, parking, pollution, and more in order to make life easier and ensure the smooth running of the city. And with over 60% of the worlds’ population expected to live in cities by 2050, it’s obvious that officials are going to have to maximize their cities to cope with this influx of people. 

There are already a number of “smart” cities around the world, with more and more implementing various smart technologies in order to better manage certain areas of focus and improve efficiencies, such as street lighting or public health. With the rise of cloud computing, advanced machine analytics, the Internet of Things and the rise of sensors and mobile devices, data is transforming the way cities work. 

But what does that all mean for you? 

Well, let’s take a look at some real life examples from cities that have implemented smart solutions to overcome many of the problems associated with urban living.

Smart lighting:

A new traffic light system in London senses when heavy traffic is approaching and ensures the lights stay green for longer in order to reduce congestion during the busiest times of the day, while street lights in both Glasgow and Singapore brighten when pedestrians and cyclists are approaching and dim when no one is passing by to reduce electricity usage. In Kansas City, in America, camera-equipped sensors have also been installed on certain streetlights to alert authorities to congestion, accidents, available parking, and even foot traffic. The data is then made available on a public website.

Smart engineering:

The London Underground network is kitted out with sensors to monitor system degradation, temperature, vibrations and humidity to show warnings and alerts, which help officials manage the network and ensure less delays and downtime, while a number of cities in the States have equipped water pipes with sensors to detect leaks and electric meters to track power use.

Smart health:

In Louisville, America, a coalition of organizations put more than 1 000 sensor-equipped asthma pumps to asthma sufferers. The sensors had built-in GPS that mapped where poor air quality in the city triggers breathing problems by tracking when the inhalers were used. The data revealed a particular road in one area where inhaler use was three times higher than in other parts of the city. In response, the city planted trees between the road and the nearby residential neighbourhood, which saw a 60% reduction in air pollution behind the green belt.

Smart safety:

In 2015, the city of New Orleans identified death by fire as one of their major concerns and started looking for a way to make sure that they were getting fire alarms into homes where they could make a difference. Using census and other data, New Orleans identified city blocks most likely to contain homes without smoke detectors and at the greatest risk for fire fatalities. This produced a map that helped officials target distribution of smoke detectors and resulted in a marked decrease in the number of fire fatalities.

Smart sanitation:

Mobile data is also helping Los Angeles to clean up city streets. Using an app on their smartphones, teams from the city sanitation department document rubbish and illegal dumping and report problems needing immediate attention. The data has resulted in different areas of the city being rated as clean, somewhat clean and not clean. The data makes it possible to better identify problem areas and has resulted in an 80% reduction in the number of areas scored “not clean”.

Smart city:

The world's first truly smart city, Songdo in South Korea, was built from scratch. When it first broke ground in 2003, Songdo was envisioned to be the "city of the future". Green, sustainable and implementing the best of available technologies to improve quality of life, the city has come a long way to making this vision a reality. With free Wi-Fi throughout the city, sensors monitor everything from temperature and energy use to traffic flow. Digital road signs offer traffic and weather updates and closed-circuit television cameras and sensors keep public spaces safe, while homes are controlled at the touch of a button.

A smarter way of living and working:

With the rise of technology, it’s obvious that “connected” cities are going to mean tremendous economic and environmental improvements. And as cities around the world roll out even more smart solutions, perhaps it’s time to start thinking smart and asking what you can do to make your life easier. AssetFinda have designed a complete, out-of-the-box toolset that allows you to track, plan, predict and enhance all aspects of your asset management systems. Backed by an expert implementation team and an outstanding service team, AssetFinda improves efficiency, reduces operating costs and increases service delivery for all asset classes.

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