Smart City is an umbrella term that covers an enormous wealth of potential technologies and initiatives. What they all have in common is their aim to help governments perform more sustainably, and make urban spaces run smoothly. Smart cities invest in IoT technologies for everything from electricity to communications software, harnessing the power of information to give them control over their environment.
Besides the reduction in costs, resource consumption and environmental impact, smart city solutions also have the power to increase the quality, performance, and interactivity of urban services, and enhance the contact between citizens and the government.
Lowering emissions, lowering costs
One of the primary benefits of bringing smart technology into any environment is that it allows for the capability to manage resources much more efficiently. By building a picture of the flow of people decision makers can direct resources to where they will be needed at peak usage times and restrict when they are not needed. This can reduce the overall cost.
Introducing smart measures into civilian facing services, like energy and transport, can make a huge difference in overall consumption, and therefore, cost.
In a smart city it is possible to track the usage of public transport provisions, utilise this data to map future use and adjust service frequency and capacity. While many transport networks already do this to a certain degree, putting on more services at peak times, with the data provided by smart innovations they could be much more accurate and more granular in their approach, responding with a greater degree of accuracy to keep costs low and travellers happy.
Energy is one area where smart innovation has already hit the mainstream. Smart meters in homes and businesses give consumers the power to control their energy use and keep their bills in check. If this technology could be upscaled and rolled out at standard across a city grid, energy consumption could be curtailed across the board, lowering the carbon footprint of the whole city, and freeing up public and private funds for use elsewhere. This redirecting of funds can boost the economy in the private sector and address shortfall in other areas of public spending like citizen welfare.
Smart public spaces
In addition to this equipping buildings and public spaces with smart technology can create jobs and dramatically reduce running costs. Innovations such as smart streetlights and IoT sensors for responsive lighting and heating, as well and sensors for predictive maintenance, can increase the lifespan of technology and stretch resources.
Greater control and efficiency
Citizens have come to expect a greater degree of accountability from their government, and often have little tolerance for unnecessary delays caused by bureaucratic inefficiency. Hold-ups can occur when systems and processes are outdated, and siloed departments work in isolation without communicating with each other, and there are smart solutions to counter these problems.
By utilising smart solutions officials can accelerate planning and implementation of government initiatives, aiding communication and collaborative creativity to speed decision making, while also giving them unparalleled oversight of the activity of their team.
All of these initiatives work together to increase engagement in the government workforce as well as citizen engagement.
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