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Exploring Smart Cities

The concept of a smart city has been around for a few decades. Different terms have been used to describe it in the past, such as digital city or intelligent city. Whatever terminology is used, smart cities are often measured along six different areas:

Whichever area you concentrate on, the main focus is on information and communication technologies (ICT). A smart city is created by using a wireless sensor network that makes up a distributed network of intelligent sensor nodes that measure different parameters to guide the management of the city. Smart cities use technology to increase local prosperity, competitiveness, and social sustainability. However, the mere presence of investment in ICT alone does not define a smart city. Investments in human capital are also required. A more educated workforce, currently referred to as the “creative class,” is often associated with urban development.

There are currently more than a dozen projects in different countries working to implement the concept of smart cities. Some of the most popular ones are the Amsterdam Smart City, SmartCity Kochi, SmartCity Malta, and Living PlanIT Portugal.

Amsterdam Smart City

The Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is a partnership between businesses, authorities, research institutions, and the people of Amsterdam that focuses on five themes associated with smart cities: living, working, mobility, public facilities, and open data. The ASC has identified three areas within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area to use as urban living labs where new products and services can be tested and demonstrated. They currently have 32 projects that vary from smart power management to smart sports parks.

SmartCity Kochi

Kochi, Kerala, India, is home to SmartCity Kochi, a smart city project that has been delayed several times after being inaugurated in October 2011. In January 2013, SmartCity Dubai (the company heading the project) and the Kerala government agreed on terms to move the project forward. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be ready in 18 months and consists of a 3.5 million square foot building.

SmartCity Malta

SmartCity Malta is another project headed by SmartCity Dubai. The geographical location of Malta, in the Mediterranean with easy access to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, has transformed the island into an investment center for foreign companies. The island was ranked second place in promoting ICT by the World Economic Forum in 2007, which makes it a perfect target for a smart city.

Living PlanIT

Portugal Living PlanIT is a technology company that is working in conjunction with the municipality of Paredes in Portugal to build a smart city called PlanIT Valley that will combine intelligent buildings with connected vehicles, providing its citizens with a higher level of information about their built environment. Its efficiency will extend into the optimum control of peak electricity demand, adapted traffic management for enhanced mobility, assisted parking, and emergency services with the capacity to have priority when needed in the flow of traffic.


Published on Sat 14 October 2017 by Dale Hampton in Computer Science with tag(s): smart cities