The arrival of Smart Cities posits a paradigm shift for cities and a true transformation that leads to more sustainable and habitable cities. The combination of Big Data and Smart Cities is one of the most powerful trends in the fields of city zoning, architecture and social advancement. Relieving demographic pressure in major cities (it is calculated that over one million people move to cities every week) and minimizing the climate crisis are two of the challenges Smart Cities are expected to address.
Knowing what Big Data in cities exactly implies allows all players involved to move in the right direction.
Big Data and Smart Cities: technology to improve cities
The application of Big Data and other new automation technologies has the potential to turn cities into smart cities, capable of improving the life of their inhabitants.
This takes advantage of the potential of the vast amount of data generated by the population, Wi-Fi networks and Internet of Things devices with the purpose of improving city services and make the city safer, and more sustainable and connected.
Big Data and Smart Cities are therefore expected to solve some of the challenges that, presumably, will appear during the next few years, with trends such as the steady urbanization of a rising population and the climate crisis.
Overall, technology will allow for the generation of cities where real-time information is accessible by institutions, and transparent for the citizens. This will, in turn, allow for decisions that improve their quality of life.
Examples and advantages of using Big Data in cities
The combination of Big Data and Smart Cities can generate benefits for many sectors:
- Optimizing both private and public transportation.
Foreseeing traffic jams, peak public transport hours and making smart parking spot searches are some of the applications that have started being implemented in Smart Cities.
To accomplish this, traffic is first analyzed through data generated by cameras or sensors placed at different spots, such as bus stops. Then, this information is submitted in real-time to the citizens or traffic authorities. This optimizes the way in which different actors move through the city, and transportation is used more efficiently.
- More efficient resource management. The generation of smart electric grids can foresee demand peaks to prevent grid outages. In addition, the supply of water in a Smart City implies that the quality of the water can at all times be guaranteed, or leaks can be detected through sensors, generating a predictive maintenance that avoids unnecessary costs. Likewise, the combination of Big Data and Smart Cities can be applied to optimize garbage collection systems.
- Safer cities. The use of technologies such as Machine Learning, in combination with IoT interconnection, is increasing the ability of video surveillance systems to guarantee the safety of citizens. Furthermore, the ability to geolocate police or firefighter vehicles can minimize the response time.
- A more involved city. Data analysis allows city halls to quickly collect opinions and complaints by citizens and allocate the necessary resources to address possible problems.
- Access to better, personalized health services. Health services will have to face multiple challenges in the coming years, which range from an increase in the population to its progressive aging.
The application of Big Data and Smart Cities is one of the tools aimed at guaranteeing that a city’s health services can respond to the health demands of its inhabitants and monitor the state of health of a community in real time.
Thus, technology can lead to faster response times in the face of health crises, the creation of a more personalized healthcare system, or foreseeing possible health problems by reading current data.
Nexus Integra, the platform for Big Data and Smart Cities
Nexus Integra is a platform that allows for the integrated management of all city services under a single system. This provides for an efficient management in a platform that includes a number of components, such as smart lighting, water management, Wi-Fi, energy monitoring, environment, infrastructure, urban habitability and mobility, governance, social innovation, economy and business.
This software supports the management of certain challenges still faced by Smart Cites, such as cybersecurity or the centralization of scattered data, combining information from many sources into a single platform.
In this way, Nexus Integra offers a Report Module that can be used to create centralized dashboards to monitor all key performance indicators of the city in a single view.