Smart City Programs That Exist Today
The overarching motifs that define a smart city solution include higher levels of urban planning, the pervasive use of digital platforms and technologies, equitable municipal participation, and incremental operational efficiencies.
Smart City shutterstock_85996786
Factors such as rapid urbanization, the explosive growth of human population numbers, legacy civic infrastructure, a shortage in housing solutions, congested traffic, and a variety of socio-economic pressures have frayed the edges of modern urban ecosystems. In response, governments and civic administrations are working to invest in smart city implementations that ensure a calibrated quality of life for urban citizens. The overarching motifs that define a smart city solution include higher levels of urban planning, the pervasive use of digital platforms and technologies, equitable municipal participation, and incremental operational efficiencies.
The Songdo International Business District located near Seoul, South Korea is a stalwart example of a modern smart city. Planners and developers have reserved an estimated 40% of the land for green space complemented by bicycle lanes, pavements for pedestrians, and waterways. This smart city is powered by solar energy and wind power as part of a plan to lower its footprint on the natural environment. It also boasts alternative energy generation mechanisms powered by human waste processed through high technology platforms.
Urban planners have worked to manage the use of energy in every building inside the Songdo International Business District. IT networks work in tandem with the physical infrastructure to reduce the impact of incident sunlight and thus reduce the economic and environmental costs wrought by climate control systems. These actions lower the energy consumption by roughly 30%.
Other cities in Asia are also working to actively embrace elements of smart city solutions. Bandung, in Indonesia, has deployed video analytics packages that operate through the city's CCTV systems. These empower law enforcers to spot and arrest irregular activities that may jeopardize public safety. Further, Bandung has deployed GPS-powered vehicle tracking systems to survey public transportation and emergency services.
Meanwhile, the administrators of Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam are working with experts and consultants to build smart infrastructure powered by modern capabilities. Plans call for the calibration and control of civic infrastructure pertaining to energy, water, transportation, urban waste disposal, etc.
There are many cities and administrations that have a smart city plan in place, and are conducting the necessary research and development. It is important to start implementing these solutions to gauge their effectiveness and viability in the real world, before they can be fully developed and integrated into a de facto smart city.