IoT was just a dream when the term was first used in 1985. Fast forward 32 years, and IoT has the capability to build complete smart cities that are fully digitally-enabled, to help improve and even raise the residents’ quality of life. These smart/intelligent/digital cities (whatever you may call them) are clearly the future and we should be excited about it!
“An average of 1.5 million people are moving to cities every week. Statistics confirm that by year 2050, two-thirds of the global population would be living in cities.” McKinsey has estimated that the demand for Smart Cities with increase by 40% in near future. As cities grow at this rapid pace, smart cities are definitely the need of the hour to manage the influx efficiently.
What is Smart City?
A Smart City is essentially an urban development vision where ICT (a.k.a Information and Communication Technology) comes together with IoT (a.k.a Internet of Things) to manage the city’s entire infrastructure and services in the best-possible secure manner. The assets that would typically come under such a management would include (and not be limited to) local departments’ information databases, libraries, schools, hospitals, utility supply plants (like power stations, water supply), law enforcement agencies, waste management as well as plenty of other relevant services.
The collaboration of these services focuses on helping meet the residents’ needs, by improving the efficiency, quality and performance, along with reduction in costs and consumption of resources, while improving contact between citizens and the authorities.
Smart cities are designed to be able to manage real-time challenges more efficiently. Much talked about sectors developed under the smart city technology and management are transport and traffic, health care, utilities (energy, water, etc.), waste management as well as some other government services.
Why do we Need Smart Cities?
As the influx of people in cities increases, the need for cost and consumption management also increases. To add to it these challenges, is the climate changes. Weather-related calamities have increased due to global warming, and a smart city protects from & manages such calamities better by remaining livable even after.
Smart cities management have made power-cuts a thing of the past, and traffic snarls almost unheard of. The use of digital, internet-based devices has already surpassed the number of people on this planet. These devices, when connected, can generate and collate unbelievable amounts of data which is used to efficiently manage who cities and transform lives for the better, for future feasibility and sustenance. This has made companies like Nokia work in the direction to work on systems that can build a completely digitized cities using IoT. We may not be completely there, but smart cities are not too far in the future – the future we’ve all been dreaming of!