How Internet Of Things is making our cities smarter
Modern cities are going to face a big challenge in the future. Analysts believe that global city populations will grow from 3.6 billion to 6.3 billion by 2050— a 60% increase.
This trend is already visible and it will carry a number new challenges that communities will have to face, such environmental and energy problems, traffic congestion and safety issues.
To respond to this scenario many cities around the globe such Las Vegas in the US, Songdo in South Korea or Santander in Spain are trying to become “smart cities” and are already exploring the opportunities that The Internet of Things (IoT) can offer.
Content of the article
What’s The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is the network of connecting all physical devices such vehicles, home appliances and any other device embedded with electronics, software, sensors or any other technology that allows these devices to connect between themselves.
The IoT also allows objects to be managed and controlled remotely across existing network, creating huge opportunities for integration of the physical world into computer-based systems.
This can, in turn, improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention.
The IoT and its technology is the key element when we talk about smart grids, virtual power plants, smart homes, intelligent transportation and of course, smart cities.
The Internet of Things uses and applications in smart cities
Cities around the world are starting to invest more and more ‘smart city’ projects. From 2013 and 2016 the number of these projects around the globe as increased from 170 to 235 and it’s predicted that Global Spending on Smart Cities will go from to $14.85 billion in 2015 to $34.35 billion in 2020.
Let’s take a look at some example of these projects.
In a very specific road area of the city of Jaipur, India, there were around 4,000 accidents per year and nor the city council or the police did know the reason for this.
After the installation of IoT sensor and cameras the administration of the city realized that most of this accidents were caused by people going on wrong way down the road. This new information was used to completely change traffic system.
The sensors now also provide useful data to monitor environmental factor like pollution and car emissions.
When talking about cars and cities, parking is also a big issue. Cities like Paris are adopting new technologies that can simplify the life of the population in this sense.
IoT can connect all the parking spaces in the network and can indicate the nearest available parking spot to a driver.
This simple process saves time, petrol, emissions and money, while reducing traffic and certainly the stress for drivers and the whole population living in the city.
Singapore is already one of the most densely populated cities in the world and it’s strongly investing in smart technologies.
Traffic sensor systems and smart parking are already in place and the administration of the city is now focusing on the citizens offering them sensor to monitor the use of water, electricity, helping them to reduce waste as well as household costs.
The government will then be able to use this data to plan and design public housing and new, ‘smarter’, housing estates.
Challenges for smart cities and IoT
The future is certainly bright for smart cities and IoT technology but this doesn’t mean that there are no challenges ahead.
Old obsolete infrastructure will have to be replaced, strong attention will have to go on protecting people private information – ‘city data’ vs ‘open data’, while building the trust of the private sector.
Most of all, a new strong dialogue will have to begin between policymakers and smart city ecosystem architects, technologists and innovators to create sensible policies that generate the outcome needed and that improve the quality people’s quality of life.