What is “Smart City”?
The concept of a smart city defines a connected city where different infrastructures can communicate with each other through smart devices and a network. Smart cities cover all of the projects in the city to identify the city’s needs accurately, increase operational efficiency to help people to have better service quality and prosperity.
Intelligence in cities is not just about integrating digital interfaces into traditional infrastructures or regulating city operations with technology, it is also directly linked to the effective use of technology and provided data to make immediate decisions and provide a better quality of life for the citizens.
Smart City Infrastructure and Application Areas
The Smart City concept can be used in many different areas to enable different infrastructures to function more efficiently and to improve operational processes. Water, gas, electricity infrastructure, roads, and road signs, waste management, parking management city lightings, environmental cleaning are managed within the scope of smart city projects. With smart devices placed in indoor and outdoor locations in the city, the current status of critical infrastructures can be monitored, water, electricity or gas leaks can be detected and city lighting can be managed remotely. In this way, city managers can easily monitor multiple infrastructures at the same time and make the task planning of the related teams to achieve more efficient results.
Smart cities also enable business owners in the city to understand how demands change with more comprehensive and real-time data for them to respond with faster, more cost-effective solutions. In this way, the cities become more efficient for also in terms of companies.
Until recently, smart city technologies were only seen as a means of making cities more efficient but smart cities have now become a tool for facilitating the lives of those living in the city. With developing technologies, millions of people can be informed instantly about transportation, traffic, waste management, health services, safety warnings and any other developments in the city.
Smart cities help people to make their lives easier. The quality of the air they breathe, how safe they are when walking on the street, occupancy rates in the parking areas; they can be informed immediately.
Smart City Projects in the World
The most common smart city application is air quality measurement. For example, in the state of Kentucky, USA, the air quality is measured constantly with the smart devices placed in the different areas of the state.
Amsterdam has an intelligent traffic management system. This system calculates current travel times, notifies drivers, and allows them to choose the most suitable route. In addition, intelligent street lights in the city can adjust brightness according to human density.
In Barcelona, the bus routes in the city are shaped according to the traffic density with intelligent systems. Also, the intelligent traffic lights in the city optimize the duration of the green lights on the buses’ route. In addition to this, traffic lights are automatically adjusted according to emergency vehicles such as fire truck, police, ambulance vehicles. When these vehicles approach the light, the light turns green so that they can go to the place where they need to go in case of an emergency.
We’ll be witnessing many other smart city projects every year in growing scopes. According to studies, the global market size for the smart city by 2020 is expected to be $400 billion annually. Creating “smart cities” helps both city managers, teams, business owners and the citizens besides making a huge difference in efficiency and cost-effectiveness.