What is a “Smart City”?

26 Nov 2019

Smart cities sound like something science fiction blockbuster movies are made of. The truth is, they are here and now, and your city could be well on its way to becoming one. Smart cities are described as urban areas that use electronic data, gathered from a variety of collection sensors, to determine how to better manage assets and resources.

What sizes are smart cities?

The good news is that cities of any size can become smart cities. It has nothing to do with the size of the city, merely with the use of technology to manage and allocate resources. The use of technology can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • Ease traffic congestion by planning new streets or widening existing streets.
  • Reduce labor costs for garbage or mosquito truck drivers.
  • Adjust the tempo of traffic lights to accommodate high-traffic flow at certain times of the day.
  • Decrease fuel costs for municipal fleets.
  • Reduce greenhouse emissions and take better care of the planet.

The bottom line is that smart cities use technology as a tool to save money, improve infrastructure, and become better stewards of the planet.

Why seek high-tech solutions?

Technology offers a variety of tools that can assist smart cities in operating more efficiently. These solutions include things like GPS tracking for municipal fleets, installing smart traffic lights in high-congestion areas of the city, and even switching to LED lightbulbs. It isn’t only the big changes that transform ordinary cities into smart cities. The little changes make enormous differences, too.

How does big data help?

One of the important things smart cities do that set them apart from other cities is using the data they have available. This information is essential to help make decisions about where to allocate resources.

For instance, gathering data can help cities determine how well their parks are being utilized and which parks are receiving little traffic. It can be used to determine who effective programs that deliver food shut-ins are for feeding the hungry and if the need is sufficient to continue these types of programs at taxpayer expense or might be better left to charitable organizations instead.

It can be used to gather information about the amount of liter collected in certain areas of the city and whether more garbage receptacles might help solve the litter problem to keep your city beautiful.

The more you utilize technology for your city, from GPS fleet tracking to switching to smarter lightbulbs, the smarter your city becomes. Isn’t it time to take your city out of the dark ages by employing the technologies of the future?

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