Studies show that by the year 2050 the world’s population will be somewhere around ten billion. Of those ten billion, around 65% or more are expected to be living in urban cities.
All the problems that come along with economic, social, demographic, and social standpoints will be dealt with in the same way; with smart city technology. Officials from all over the world are working together to make everything in their countries and regions “smart.” There are a countless amount of ideas, and some of the projects seem to have great potential for improving the quality of life for the people.
Networked and Electric Transportation
One of the most significant challenges in big cities is trying to get around with all the congestion. In New York City, there have been electric buses introduced for the citizens to utilise. Throughout the city, they want to be able to install sensors in both the traffic lights and the buses. That way, when a bus gets to a traffic light, the signal will change to keep the bus flowing through the traffic.
By doing this, there has been a reduction in travel times up to 20% in some cases. These kinds of changes aren’t only beneficial to the supremely large cities. There are other areas that are looking at reducing pollution, and electric vehicles are going to do that naturally. Carbon dioxide coming from cars is a focus for the people of Oslo, Norway. They want to cut them in half by the year 2020. That may seem like an impossible feat, but they plan to do it with a transportation network that is redesigned and a prohibition on private cars.
Controlling Electricity Expenditures
Controlling the amount of electricity used in households throughout the European Union is one of the features of a smart city. The utility companies are using it as an advertisement in Britain. Throughout Wales, England, and Scotland, the Smart Meters campaign wants to put in over 50 million meters that can control the amount of light and gas that is being used. There is a projected date of 2020 to have them in all homes.
Advanced meters have already been set up in over 50 million homes in the United States. Other cities are working on the same initiatives. They also are hoping to create a network of chargers that can be used to charge up electric vehicles.
Paperwork Facilitated by Smart Phones
DigiTel was created after the citizens in Israel were said to love their city, but they couldn’t stand the management. Through the application, the people can carry out the following actions:
- Register for a spot in public schools
- Get parking permits
- Send images of potholes or roads that are damaged
- Pay water and municipal bills
Palo Alto in California has an application that is somewhat similar. It lets the residents notify the proper departments of incidents they are aware of. They also have access to the local services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These kinds of applications are popping up around the world and are found in Southampton, UK, Gijon, Spain, and Astana, Kazakhstan as well.
Open and Transparent Data Provided
Big data is found normally in the smart city platforms and its developments. Some of the governments are collecting the information in regards to geographical location, traffic, and the budget and consumption of the city. There is so much information that it’s impossible to pinpoint an individual. However, it does create a nice overview of business opportunities. The only condition to the data is it has to be completely transparent and open so that any citizen can have access to it.
Smarter Healthcare Systems
In Singapore, there has been a robot working in the operating room for over two years. Other ways they are being used is to move drugs, blood samples, and files through the buildings where it is located. Geo-location of the patients in the hospitals is another initiative. That way the staff can monitor the patient and the needs for personnel can be figured out automatically based on where the patients are located. Fibre optics placed within the bed enable staff to check and report the breathing and temperature of a patent.
Programmed Education Commitment
The ideas and devices that are going to be used in these smart cities in the future will come about by the people that are currently in school. In Singapore, they have a goal to teach computer programming to children that are aged three to twelve. Over 20,000 kids have already had access to this education. Kids will start learning as early as preschool playing and programming robots. After they reach the higher grades, 3D printers, circuits, robots, video games, and drones would be a core subject.