Urban experts believe that the future of cities is smart cities. So what are smart cities and what does the future hold for them? A smart city is defined as a technologically modern urban area that uses different types of digital methods to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide a better quality of government service and citizen welfare. According to TWI global, the main characteristics of a smart city are:
- An infrastructure based on technology
- Environmental initiatives
- Effective and highly functional public transportation
- Confident and progressive city plans
- People can live and work within the city, using its resources
Benefits of Smart CitiesAccording to McKinsey Global Institute Smart, city technologies have substantial unrealized potential to improve the urban quality of life. This can happen as follows:
- Applications can help cities fight crime and improve other aspects of public safety.
- Smart-city technologies can make daily commutes faster and less frustrating.
- Cities can be catalysts for better health.
- Smart cities can deliver a cleaner and more sustainable environment.
- Smart cities can create a new digital urban commons and enhance social connectedness.
Top Smart CitiesDubai ranks among the top smart cities in the world. It has recently gone through a seven-year plan to digitally transform all government and financial services, including communications, urban planning, and transportation. It has also recently been announced that is government went paperless. AI is being utilised in the transportation sector and has helped reduce traffic collisions. It’s already collecting road tolls through RFID and payment for transport services. Other top smart cities include New York, Barcelona, Hong Kong, and London.
Future trends of Smart CitiesSmart cities are expected to continue to embrace artificial intelligence and incorporate IoT devices. The global market for smart cities is estimated at US$741.6 Billion in the year 2020 and is projected to reach a size of US$2.5 Trillion by 2026. According to Deloitte Insights, the future trends of smart cities include:
- Green planning of public cities
- Smart health communities
- 15-minute city
- Digital innovation ecosystem
- Circular economy and producing locally
- Sustainable buildings and infrastructure
- Mass participation
- City operations through AI
- Cybersecurity and privacy awareness
- Surveillance and predictive policing through AI