Smart City

Monday, 22 April 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Architecture, Design & Products, Energy, Environment, Building Automation, Green Buildings, Green Technologies, Intelligent Buildings, Living, Working, Building, Sustainability

© flickr.com - Wilgengebroed/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Wilgengebroed/cc-by-2.0

A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. This includes data collected from citizens, devices, and assets that is processed and analyzed to monitor and manage traffic and transportation systems, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, information systems, schools, libraries, hospitals, and other community services. The smart city concept integrates information and communication technology (ICT), and various physical devices connected to the network (the Internet of things or IoT) to optimize the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to citizens. Smart city technology allows city officials to interact directly with both community and city infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city and how the city is evolving.

ICT is used to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to increase contact between citizens and government. Smart city applications are developed to manage urban flows and allow for real-time responses. A smart city may therefore be more prepared to respond to challenges than one with a simple “transactional” relationship with its citizens. Yet, the term itself remains unclear to its specifics and therefore, open to many interpretations. Other terms that have been used for similar concepts include cyberville, digital city, electronic communities, flexicity, information city, intelligent city, knowledge-based city, MESH city, telecity, teletopia, Ubiquitous city, wired city. Major technological, economic and environmental changes have generated interest in smart cities, including climate change, economic restructuring, the move to online retail and entertainment, ageing populations, urban population growth and pressures on public finances. The European Union (EU) has devoted constant efforts to devising a strategy for achieving ‘smart’ urban growth for its metropolitan city-regions. The EU has developed a range of programmes under “Europe’s Digital Agenda”. In 2010, it highlighted its focus on strengthening innovation and investment in ICT services for the purpose of improving public services and quality of life. Arup estimates that the global market for smart urban services will be $400 billion per annum by 2020. Examples of Smart City technologies and programs have been implemented in Singapore, Dubai, Milton Keynes, Southampton, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, and New York.

Several concepts of the Smart city rely heavily on the use of technology; a technological Smart City is not just one concept but there are different combinations of technological infrastructure that build a concept of smart city.

  • Digital city: it combines service oriented infrastructure, innovation services and communication infrastructure; Yovanof, G. S. & Hazapis, G. N. define a digital city “a connected community that combines broadband communications infrastructure; a flexible, service-oriented computing infrastructure based on open industry standards; and, innovative services to meet the needs of governments and their employees, citizens and businesses”. The main purpose is to create an environment in which citizens are interconnected and easily share information anywhere in the city.
  • Virtual city: In these kinds of cities functions are implemented in a cyberspace; it includes the notion of hybrid city, which consists of a reality with real citizens and entities and a parallel virtual city of real entities and people. Having a smart city that is virtual means that in some cities it is possible the coexistence between these two reality, however the issue of physical distance and location is still not easy to manage. The vision of the world without distance still remains unmet in many ways. In practice this idea is hold up through physical IT infrastructure of cables, data centers, and exchanges.
  • Information city: It collects local information and delivered them to the public portal; In that city, many inhabitants are able to live and even work on the Internet because they could obtain every information through IT infrastructures, thanks to the sharing information method among citizens themselves. Using this approach, an information city could be an urban centre both economically and socially speaking; the most important thing is the linkage among civic services, people interactions and government institutions.
  • Intelligent city: it involves function as research or technological innovation to support learning and innovation procedure. The notion emerges in a social context in which knowledge, learning process and creativity have great importance and the human capital is considered the most precious resource within this type of technological city. In particular one of the most significant feature of an intelligent city is that every infrastructure is up to date, that means have the latest technology in telecommunications, electronic and mechanical technology. According to Komninos and Sefertzi, the attempt to build an “intelligent” Smart City is more a radical innovation rather than an incremental innovation owing to a big quantity of efforts to use IT trying to transform the daily life.
  • Ubiquitous city (U-city): It creates an environment that connect citizens to any services through any device. According to Anthopoulos, L., & Fitsilis, P., U-city is a further extension of digital city concept because of the facility in terms of accessibility to every infrastructure. This makes easier to the citizen the use of any available devices to interconnect them. Its goal is to create a city where any citizen can get any services anywhere and anytime through any kind of devices. It is important to highlights that the ubiquitous city is different from the above virtual city: while the virtual city creates another space by visualizing the real urban elements within the virtual space, U-city is given by the computer chips inserted to those urban elements.
  • Cognitive Smart City: Cognitive smart city expands the concept of the smart city by referring to the convergence of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city technologies, their generated big data, and artificial intelligence techniques. Continuous learning through human interactions and consequently performing a dynamic and flexible behavior and actions based on the dynamic environment of the city are the core components of such framework.

Human infrastructure (i.e., creative occupations and workforce, knowledge networks, voluntary organisations) is a crucial axis for city development.

  • Creative city: creativity is recognized as a key driver to smart city and it represents also a version of it. Social infrastructures, like for instance intellectual and social capital are indispensable factors to build a city that is smart according to the human framework. These infrastructures concern people and their relationship. Smart City benefits from social capital and it could be possible and easier to create a Smart city concept if there are mix of education and training, culture and arts, business and commerce as Bartlett, L. said.
  • Learning city: according to Moser, M. A., learning city is involved in building skilled workforce. This type of city in the human context improves the competitiveness in the global knowledge economy and Campbell established a typology of cities that are learning to be smart: individually proactive city, city cluster, one-to-one link between cities, and city network. That lead a city to learn how it should be possible and realistic to be smart through learning process followed by city workforce.
  • Humane city: It exploits human potential, in particular the knowledge workforce. Following this approach, it is possible focus on education and builds a center of higher education, which is the city, obtaining better-educated individuals. According to Glaeser, E. L., & Berry, C. R, this view moves a smart city concept in a city full of skilled workforces; the same reasoning could be make for those high tech knowledge-sensitive industries which want to migrate in a so dynamic and proactive community. As a consequence of the above movement, the difference between Smart City and not are getting wider; Smart places are getting smarter while other places getting less smart because such places act as a magnet for creative people and workers (Malanga, S. 2004).
  • Knowledge city: It is related to knowledge economy and innovation process; this type of Smart City is very similar to a learning city, the only difference refers to “a knowledge city is heavily related to knowledge economy, and its distinction is stress on innovation” (Dirks, S., Gurdgiev, C., & Keeling, M.).

The concept of knowledge city is linked with similar evolving concepts of Smart City such as intelligent city and educating city. The most important feature of this city is the fundamental concept of knowledge-based urban development, which has become an important and widespread mechanism for the development of knowledge cities.

According to Moser, M. A., since 1990s the Smart Communities movement took shape as a strategy to broaden the base of users involved in IT. Members of these Communities are people that share their interest and work in a partnership with government and other institutional organizations to push the use of IT to improve the quality of daily life as a consequence of different worsening in daily actions. Eger, J. M. said that a smart community makes a conscious and agreed-upon decision to deploy technology as a catalyst to solving its social and business needs. It is very important to understand that this use of IT and the consequent improvement could be more demanding without the institutional help; indeed institutional involvement is essential to the success of smart community initiatives. Again Moser, M. A. explained that “building and planning a smart community seeks for smart growth”; a smart growth is essential what the partnership between citizen and institutional organizations try to do that is a reaction to worsening trends in daily things, like for instance traffic congestion, school overcrowding and air pollution. However it is important noticed that technological propagation is not an end in itself, but only a means to reinventing cities for a new economy and society. To sum up, it could possible to assert that any Smart City initiatives necessitate the governance support for their success. The importance of these three different dimensions consist that only a link, correlation among them make possible a development of a real concept of Smart City. According to the definition of Smart City given by Caragliu, A., Del Bo, C., & Nijkamp, P., a city is smart when investments in human/social capital and IT infrastructure fuel sustainable growth and enhance quality of life, through participatory governance.

Smart cities use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability, create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and working in the city. It also means that the city has a smarter energy infrastructure. A more formal definition is this: “… An urban area that has securely integrated technology across the information … and Internet of Things (IoT) sectors to better manage a city’s assets.” A smart city is powered by “smart connections” for various items such as street lighting, smart buildings, distributed energy resources (DER), data analytics, and smart transportation. Amongst these things, energy is paramount; this is why utility companies play a key role in smart cities. Electric companies, working partnership with city officials, technology companies and a number of other institutions, are among the major players that helped accelerate the growth of America’s smart cities.

Smart cities use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability, create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and working in the city. It also means that the city has a smarter energy infrastructure. A more formal definition is this: “… An urban area that has securely integrated technology across the information … and Internet of Things (IoT) sectors to better manage a city’s assets.”

Smart city employs a combination of data collection, processing, and disseminating technologies in conjunction with networking and computing technologies and data security and privacy measures encouraging application innovation to promote the overall quality of life for its citizens and covering dimensions that include: utilities, health, transportation, entertainment and government services.

Read more on Wikipedia Smart City (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.


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