All you need to know about Smart Cities
More than half the population lives in urban areas, and this trend will continue to grow. It is estimated 60% of the world’s population will live in macro-cities with tens of millions of inhabitants by 2050. Today, cities are large centers of resource consumption and high air pollution. Therefore, it is important to consider how they will be in the future and what can be done to make them have an adequate management of the natural resources and, through a participatory government, make them more innovative and efficient.
What are Smart Cities?
A smart city is one that combines technology with information to improve the quality of life, reduce energy costs and environmental impact. It involves applying technology to cities to make them more efficient and sustainable in an increasingly urban world. To achieve harmony between space, social and environmental. Therefore, a city is considered smart if it has, at least, one initiative on these following areas:
Incorporating all these concepts implies some innovations such as the automatic and efficient management of urban infrastructures; the improved energy efficiency and savings. Optimal mobility management and urban parking serve to improve traffic and shorten parking space search times while reducing queues at municipal offices and hospitals, etc. In short, improve urban planning and the environment. Get more and better green areas and peripheral areas too. In addition to promoting new models and business opportunities in order to incorporate new services that better respond to the specific needs of citizens.
However, this could also mean certain problems. It involves huge funding from the Administration, a reduction in privacy, higher real estate prices and greater technology gaps between cities since not all of them will be able to afford the high cost of this technological transformation.
In Spain, National Plan of Smart Cities
In Spain, a National Plan for Intelligent Cities has been created with 153 million euros to make public services more competitive through the use of ICT. Helping local entities in the process of technological transformation is one of their main premises. The plan will be coordinated through the creation of the Advisory Council of Intelligent Cities, and is structured in 5 main axes:
1. Support and boost the growth of the ICT industry.
2. Facilitate the transformation process towards smart cities.
3. Simplify the creation of new business models based on a smart use of technology, as well as demonstrate the efficiency of the same and the citizen satisfaction derived from them.
4. Promote the dissemination of the National Smart Cities Plan to reach all citizens.
5. Monitoring the implementation of the plan.
On the other hand, GEOCyL Environmental and Territorial Consultancy develops the project My smart city, that analyse and make the smart cities known. They travelled for eight weeks 30 cities belonging to the Spanish Network of Smart Cities using an Electric vehicle for urban mobility. One of the objectives of this project is to transmit to the citizen the new and incipient idea of Smart City.
Most innovative projects in the world
This cybersecurity company has launched the Earth 2050 web where there are predictions about social and technological advances of 80 cities for that year. It has joined the opinion of experts, scientists, artists, a futurist, analysts to shape a vision of the future. And the users can navigate different cities of the future in 360º.
It is located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and will be supplied by solar energy. Its goal is not only to be sustainable, but self-sufficient. Its slogans are: zero carbon, zero waste, sustainable transport and food, fair trade and culture. Food will come from greenhouses and farms, the waste will be recycled and is intended to reduce the consumption of resources such as water and other materials. Public services such as water or transport will be supported by solar energy. This city emerges in the United Arab Emirates, the eighth largest oil producer on the planet and one of the world champions in carbon emissions.
It is a high-tech business district in the city of Cairo, Egypt. Today it has become a business community that brings together the largest international companies in the field of communications and information technology, as well as banks and some government agencies.