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Smart Cities Concept

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A smart city is a technologically modern urban area that uses different types of electronic methods and sensors to collect specific data. Information gained from that data is used to manage assets, resources and services efficiently; in return, that data is used to improve operations across the city. The concept of smart cities has gained significant attention in recent years as urban areas grapple with increasing populations, resource constraints, and the need for sustainable development. By leveraging advanced technologies and data-driven solutions, smart cities aim to create more efficient, livable, and environmentally friendly urban environments.

Smart cities are defined as smart both in the ways in which their governments harness technology as well as in how they monitor, analyze, plan, and govern the city. In smart cities, the sharing of data is not limited to the city itself but also includes businesses, citizens and other third parties that can benefit from various uses of that data. Sharing data from different systems and sectors creates opportunities for increased understanding and economic benefits.


The smart city concept integrates information and communication technology ('ICT'), and various physical devices connected to the Internet of things ('IoT') network to optimize the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to citizens. Smart city technology allows city officials to interact directly with both community and city infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city and how the city is evolving. ICT is used to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to increase contact between citizens and government.

These forms of intelligence in smart cities have been demonstrated in three ways

  1. Orchestration intelligence: Where cities establish institutions and community-based problem-solving and collaborations.

  2. Empowerment intelligence: Cities provide open platforms, experimental facilities, and smart city infrastructure in order to cluster innovation in certain districts.

  3. Instrumentation intelligence: Where city infrastructure is made smart through real-time data collection, with analysis and predictive modeling across city districts. There is much controversy surrounding this, particularly with regard to surveillance issues in smart cities.

Smart city initiatives have measurable positive impacts on the quality of life of its citizens and visitors. The human framework of a smart city – its economy, knowledge networks, and human support systems – is an important indicator of its success. In short, People, Processes, and Technology (PPT) are the three principles of the success of a smart city initiative. Cities must study their citizens and communities, know the processes, business drivers, create policies, and objectives to meet the citizens' needs. Then, technology can be implemented to meet the citizens' need, in order to improve the quality of life and create real economic opportunities. This requires a holistic customized approach that accounts for city cultures, long-term city planning, and local regulations.

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