Smart Cities, how they work and how to tackle change

The world’s population is growing exponentially year after year. More and more people are living in cities, which makes necessary to look for new ways of development and solutions that guarantee the quality of life of citizens in a sustainable way.

Cities have developed on obsolete models and now are in urgent need of preventing the collapse caused by overpopulation.

By 2050, 85% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities, which will generate problems of supply, resources and pollution if action is not taken in an agile and effective manner. This is when Smart Cities appeared, with the aim of developing sustainable cities. Let’s take a closer look at this new concept.

What is a Smart City

A Smart City or intelligent city is a city based on sustainable urban development thanks to the application of new technologies, with three main objectives: to improve energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and increase the well-being of citizens. This concept of city interconnects different areas such as management, economy, mobility, environment, energy, supply, health, security, among others, and thus allows to be more efficient and provide better and new services.

The success of these cities lies in the application of cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Big Data to the city’s systems and assets to make them more sustainable, connected and optimised.

How a Smart City works

A Smart City has its main driver in the use of innovation and technological potential as tools for transformation and improvement of quality of life. Getting into the operational field, the implementation of sensors and IoT devices is used for collecting data from buildings, facilities, traffic systems, security, supplies, etc. to be processed and sent to specific management platforms, where they can be visualised, analysed and even operate in real time in different areas of the city.

Keys that define a Smart City

Smart Cities integrate society with their management, identifying the needs of citizens and offering solutions that improve the quality of life with the least environmental impact. To do this, let’s look at the keys that make a city stop being traditional and become what we call a smart city:

  • Use of information and communication technologies
  • Building and control automation
  • Efficient urban planning
  • Urban mobility and sustainable public transport
  • Smart waste management
  • Improving environmental sustainability
  • Concern for the social environment
  • Technologies applied to education
  • Health technologies
  • Advanced e-commerce system
  • Transparency between governments and citizens
  • Data sharing

Leading Smart Cities in the world

Tokyo

The city of Tokyo is the densest metropolitan area in the world. With more than 14 million people living and working in this city, the infrastructure must be very robust. With a huge number of people connecting to the city’s wireless networks on a daily basis, Japan is one of the first countries in the world to implement the 5G network.

Delhi

Wifi throughout the city, a smart identity card as an electronic wallet, a special card for access to different places, an electronic surveillance system with alarms, cameras and panic buttons every 200 metres and streetlights that light up when they detect pedestrians are some of the elements with which it intends to attract its future inhabitants. These are some of the advances that the capital of India has incorporated as a Smart City.

Shanghai

Shanghai won the “Smart City Award” which distinguishes it as one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. They have 99% coverage of the 5G network via optical fibre, which extends over 31,000 connectivity stations. In addition, its e-government system was praised for providing interactive tools to more than 14.5 million users in terms of administrative procedures.

Sao Paulo

The city of Sao Paulo stands out as the smartest and best connected municipality in Brazil. The city has three technology parks and 11 incubators, which are responsible for 4.1% of formal jobs. The municipality still has, at present, 85 Internet access points per 100 inhabitants.

Barcelona

Although it is not among the world’s leading cities, it is the most technologically developed Spanish city in terms of Smart City technology. The most significant actions carried out for digital transformation are: boosting infrastructures through the implementation of powerful networks of sensors and actuators, starting with the city’s main avenues. And a free wireless network already consists of 700 points that have served up to 250,000 monthly users.

How to become a Smart City

The question that generates the most interest… How to become a Smart City?

The first step in tackling the transition is to set development objectives in different areas. Once this step has been taken, there are companies specialised in the implementation of systems using sensors digitally connected to centralised management platforms, which allow visualisation and operations in real time.

Planning areas

Economy: Create an online economic system that saves time and makes transactions easier for citizens.

Environment: The best use of resources, as well as the integration of the city with the least impact on the surrounding environment should be one of the most important reasons.

Governance: The digitalisation of public administrations to facilitate management is a clear example to follow, as well as transparency in management for citizens.

Lifestyle: More efficient, safe and comfortable buildings for their inhabitants.

Mobility: Systems for knowing the state of traffic, managing it and optimising it is fundamental for organisational improvement and improving the quality of life of citizens. Use of renewable energies and shorter travel times with intelligent mobility mean more time for people.

People: Together with the environment, they form the other major reason why smart cities are developing. Offering solutions based on people’s ideas and needs.

Start the transformation to Smart City with Nexus Integra

Visualise, analyse and manage your city services in a comprehensive way with Nexus Integra.

  • Improve citizens’ quality of life
  • Increase efficiency and sustainability
  • Work with an open and interoperable tool
  • Involve all city agents: Hospitals, Schools, Transport, IT Departments, etc.

Nexus Integra offers you different solutions designed to control and improve efficiency in facilities, mobility, environment and citizen services.

We go hand in hand with you in the transformation towards the Smart City. Contact us.