Cities have been evolving ever since its inception. From household and sanitation to infrastructure and electricity, every city goes through the break-and-make cycle, of de-engineering and engineering in a pursuit to provide a more advanced lifestyle comprising of sufficient resource availability, faster transport and connectivity, and better security. Now, with the intervention of technology, growing environmental awareness, and the need for optimized living, the very fabric of city construction is evolving giving birth to a more sustainable and smarter approach. Listing down below, here are five reasons why it is necessary for cities to become smarter today:
1. More Data for Better Decisions:
Data is important for better decision making. The core goal of building cities has always been to offer better living standards to its citizens. Data offers ample information on the persisting gap of lacking amongst all citizens, and thereby, how to fill them with better facilities. Through the technology of big data, A.I., and advanced IoT integration systems and platforms, smart cities get a better and faster understanding of these requirements that makes the developmental process easier. From weather forecasts and population growth to the movement of traffic and crime rates, data helps to initiate quick actions so that the sanctity of the city can be maintained throughout.
2. Stronger and Sustainable Infrastructure:
A city’s economic infrastructure plays a crucial role in the developmental process by forging robust connectivity. It also bears the responsibility of safe transportation of all commuters. Whether it is a highway, a bridge, railway or subway system, apart from building them with the help of proper engineering expertise, it also requires effective maintenance to ensure durability. Transforming the present urban landscape into a smart city would incorporate the technology that would not just identify the structures that need refurbishment but would also prompt the construction of such infrastructure that’s environmentally sound and would offer the surveillance and data that would further augment the management of the whole transportation and traffic system irrespective of rapid population growth.
3. Efficient Resource Utilization:
The alarming environmental issues of global warming, pollution, and diminishing fossil fuels, have further increased the need for smart cities globally. This is a time when only harnessing renewable sources energy is not enough. Fast technological advancements are required so that it can be used effectively. While hydel power has been in use for decades in India, an increase in the use of solar power and wind power is the fruits of the latest innovation and awareness. A lot of the cities around the world are inclining towards the utilization of green energy along with introducing energy-efficient buildings, highways with solar chargers for electric cars, air quality sensors, etc. One of the prominent examples of energy-efficient infrastructure in India is the 135km long Eastern Peripheral Expressway that not only has rainwater harvesters at every 500 meters, but also solar panels installed at different locations to generate electricity for the streetlights.
4. Open Citizen and Government Participation:
Digitalization is one of the key aspects of smart cities. Experiencing the convenience of digital services from private bodies, the demand for digitized government services has also increased. As collaboration tools, modern and intuitive websites, mobile applications, self-service portals, and convenient online accounts have already become part and parcel of modern life, citizens now demand accessible government data, interactive maps, and government performance dashboards for a more transparent understanding of government decisions and implementations. Expansive digital services not just make cities smarter but keep all citizens updated via open participation promoting an inclusive and informed community.
5. Boost Economic Development:
Public-private tie-ups to innovate smart city technology has proved to be a fruitful initiative that significantly contributes to the expansion of gross domestic product (GDP). Not only does it boost the competitive position of the city on a regional and global scale, but the development of smart technology also creates the opportunity to attract residents and new business prospects. Integrated open platforms offering A.I. generated data in real-time will further help businesses and the government to make wiser economic decisions.
With a potential to solve issues on every level of city infrastructure, administration, and economy, smart city is the pathway that promises a secure and sustainable future to its citizens.