This article is available also in spanish here
Technology for smart cities: the pillars of urban planning of the future
My list

Author | Jaime Ramos

One of the most defining features of a smart city is its capacity to assimilate new technologies. However, what do we understand by technology for smart cities? No, it is not a list of devices “that make urban life easier”.

Self-driving cars, Big Data, robots, self-supply, remote public services… reveal the degree of urban intelligence on the surface. However, their integration is based on a more complex equation.

To resolve it, it is important to note that these smart city solutions are closely interrelated and generate effects at many levels. Precisely, the value of the technological revolution we are living is that the introduction of technology brings with it consequences at other levels. Therefore, many experts use the organic description and imagine a smart city as a living entity.

What is smart technology?

Smart technology applied to that organism enables it to scale evolutionary positions, as if it were 2001: A Space Odyssey. That is, the aim is not only to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants, but also to predict and tackle future challenges, which could even cast serious doubts on survival.

For example, in 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will live in a city. This simple statistic puts at risk the vital signs of any urban space in very basic terms of refuge, supply or sustainability. Turning to technological intelligence means exploring an unprecedented route to combat these challenges.

Which technologies are used by smart cities?

Big Data

smart city technology - 54

Knowledge and information are great powers. The key principle of empiricism in philosophy is transferred to our era in the development of Big Data. Now, the power not only consists of knowing, but in the mass management of that knowledge and its uses.

That is why Big Data is understood to be the new oil. The use of vast masses of data is key for public administrations and private corporations in terms, for example, of processing millions of files or controlling flows of transport.

Big Data should be aimed at strengthening the democratic values, security or social inclusion of cities. The luck of an oracle or “psychohistory” that aspires to solve current problems or before future ones make an appearance.

Artificial intelligence

Of course, humans are going to need a “little” help in managing this traffic of information and this help is coming from the development of artificial intelligence. The race for machines to integrate human processes is in full flow. It goes without saying that in the coming years we will have to deal with ethical conflicts that will emerge from their participation as is the case with the application of facial recognition algorithms. This technology can help increase security and reduce crime, while it also contradicts fundamental values such as privacy and non-discrimination.

The most visible aspect of this fourth industrial revolution, which is automation, can be found in robots. If a giant like Amazon had a thousand of them in 2013, they currently have more than 100,000. Future decades will undoubtedly be robotic.

As with Big Data, the real potential of artificial intelligence is not with what it can do for us, but rather the genuine solutions that it will provide us with thanks to machine learning.

Internet of things in cities

smart city technology - 55

IoT is one of the most palpable and organic advances of a smart city. The integration of sensors and objects on the cloud have opened up a world of possibilities in all urban departments, from controlling energy flows, traffic or any incident in real time.

The aim of IoT is to boost the digitalization and interoperability of services provided by a city. That is the aim of the Vicinity project. This explains other applications and devices that have emerged thanks to connectivity and which form part of the DNA of this revolution for life and even death, in cities.

Connectivity

smart city technology - 56

If we talk about connectivity, we cannot ignore, in terms of infrastructure, another technological pillar of cities: smart communication networks. Today this is strongly related to the implementation of 5G, but it is not the only area in which telecommunications work.

5G will contribute to the improvement of IoT by allowing the interconnection of up to 20 billion devices. It will also help in terms of energy sustainability.

Toward a model of sustainability

The reduction of energy bills by exploring new forms of producing and managing existing models is essential in order to talk of the future (or of life on the Earth’s crust). This is another structural factor that is integrated in the genetics of technologies for smart cities.

We can find it in the exploitation of renewable energies or in waste management. In this war against pollution, we may still have a few battles to lose.

Smart lighting

The solutions seen until now provide a new structural perspective. However, there are other related developments that foster sustainable alternatives. Such is the case of smart lighting systems. Cities such as Copenhagen have achieved energy savings of up to 65%. Likewise, __they are also a ray of hope for the growing problem of light pollution__.

Transport networks in a smart city

smart city technology - 57

Transport will be one of the areas that will see the most developments. Electrification and self-driving vehicles are directing the automotive industry today. The former entails the improvement of batteries; the latter, the enormous challenge of applying artificial intelligence to mobility.

However, they are not the only trends. There are new forms of urban communication on the horizon, in which cars do not play such an important role and which sees the emergence of a new meaning of public mobility.

Benefits of technological applications

smart city technology - 58

Every smart city dreams of improving the quality of life of its inhabitants. If we dissect this concept, the creation of sustainable and inclusive environments are particularly relevant among the benefits we have mentioned.

In fact, inclusion is a paradigm for smart cities. They cannot allow themselves the luxury of ignoring it. Almost all smart technologies convey a moral perspective aimed at advancing fairness and equity. These can do a great deal, for example, for disabled persons.

It is clear that, in the new urban era opening up before us, the most human side of technology is yet to be explored. Just as the hive concept is inseparable from the bee concept, a technologically “inhuman” city cannot aspire to be anything other than a failed oxymoron.

Images | iStock/efired, iStock/metamorworks, iStock/NicoElNino, iStock/Olgaviare, Ubicitricity, iStock/helloabc

Related content
IoT security solutions: How to prevent IoT attacks?
IoT security solutions: How to prevent IoT attacks?
The six most groundbreaking urban innovations of 2021
The six most groundbreaking urban innovations of 2021
Why Corporate Innovation Needs Transformation
Why Corporate Innovation Needs Transformation
What is the Internet of Things or IoT? Definition and examples
What is the Internet of Things or IoT? Definition and examples
Accelerating Cities' Digital Transformation with Technologies
Accelerating Cities' Digital Transformation with Technologies
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
Governing the twin transition: Transforming today’s challenges into future opportunities
Governing the twin transition: Transforming today’s challenges into future opportunities
AI & CITIES
AI & CITIES
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
What are the three main goals of database lifecycle management (DLM)?
What are the three main goals of database lifecycle management (DLM)?
Governments in digital transformation: five areas of action
Governments in digital transformation: five areas of action
What is a smart factory and how will it impact industry?
What is a smart factory and how will it impact industry?
How digitalization is transforming government in emerging economies
How digitalization is transforming government in emerging economies
Medical apps for patients: how can they improve public health?
Medical apps for patients: how can they improve public health?
Velodyne, NavVis and Qualcomm Technologies Working Together to Build Smart Cities Faster
Velodyne, NavVis and Qualcomm Technologies Working Together to Build Smart Cities Faster
In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion
In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion
Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner'
Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner'
Designers in Tech: How Architecture Is Unlocking the Potential of New Emerging Technologies
Designers in Tech: How Architecture Is Unlocking the Potential of New Emerging Technologies
Treat Smart City Tech like Sewers, or Better
Treat Smart City Tech like Sewers, or Better
Emerging technologies can foster an inclusive COVID-19 recovery
Emerging technologies can foster an inclusive COVID-19 recovery
Shopping with delivery robots arrives in cities
Shopping with delivery robots arrives in cities
Technology for smart cities: the pillars of urban planning of the future
Technology for smart cities: the pillars of urban planning of the future
Making Data Center Smart: How Artificial Intelligence Helps?
Making Data Center Smart: How Artificial Intelligence Helps?
Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges
Experts Say the ‘New Normal’ in 2025 Will Be Far More Tech-Driven, Presenting More Big Challenges
Prof Shafi Ahmed: ‘Technology will completely transform healthcare’
Prof Shafi Ahmed: ‘Technology will completely transform healthcare’
Does the use of Big Data cause privacy concerns?
Does the use of Big Data cause privacy concerns?
Eye tracking technology: what is it and how will we see it in our cities
Eye tracking technology: what is it and how will we see it in our cities
Five top tips for businesses in 2021 from industry experts
Five top tips for businesses in 2021 from industry experts
Brief history of artificial intelligence
Brief history of artificial intelligence
China’s country-as-platform strategy for global influence
China’s country-as-platform strategy for global influence
As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along
As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along
Top 7 IoT Smart City Trends to Look Out In 2021
Top 7 IoT Smart City Trends to Look Out In 2021
“Liquid” machine-learning system adapts to changing conditions
“Liquid” machine-learning system adapts to changing conditions
Can Artificial Intelligence Replicate the Mystery of Human Conversation?
Can Artificial Intelligence Replicate the Mystery of Human Conversation?
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024: report
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024: report
The skills Deloitte looks for when it acquires IT service providers
The skills Deloitte looks for when it acquires IT service providers
Who needs a teacher? Artificial intelligence designs lesson plans for itself
Who needs a teacher? Artificial intelligence designs lesson plans for itself
4 Impactful Technologies From the Gartner Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2021
4 Impactful Technologies From the Gartner Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar for 2021
Are Videogames the Future of Remote Work?
Are Videogames the Future of Remote Work?
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024, says report
China to become world's largest IoT market in 2024, says report
Let interoperability be the foundation of smart cities
Let interoperability be the foundation of smart cities
Four emerging technology trends in 2021
Four emerging technology trends in 2021
Top 10 innovative regions in China
Top 10 innovative regions in China
What does Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics mean in Business?
What does Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics mean in Business?
Robots, wristbands, and apps: startups that innovated their products for COVID-induced med tech
Robots, wristbands, and apps: startups that innovated their products for COVID-induced med tech
Top 5 IoT programming languages in 2021
Top 5 IoT programming languages in 2021
How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021
How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021
How exactly are smart cities built? From facial recognition and 5G networks to cheap sensors — these are the essential components
How exactly are smart cities built? From facial recognition and 5G networks to cheap sensors — these are the essential components
Cyberplanning: Securing the IoT ecosystem
Cyberplanning: Securing the IoT ecosystem
Stand ready for the big five technology convulsions reshaping markets
Stand ready for the big five technology convulsions reshaping markets
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
Ahmet Erkol
Ahmet Erkol
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality
Engineer
Apostolos Thasitis
Apostolos Thasitis
Bosch
Business Development Manager
Rita Arrigo
Rita Arrigo
Microsoft
As Digital Strategist , I re-imagine the future, build new digital capabilities for Public Sector.
Sameer Zodape
Sameer Zodape
Digital life
Sales executive head
EC
Emma Chen
Landing Medical group
Managaer of business department
CG
Carlos Garcia Santos
SAP España
Senior Consultant
AA
Abizar Ghiffary Abi
Iflapor
Human Resource Development
MF
Manel Ferrer
Endium
CEO
Ed
Evânia de Paula
Evânia Artes
Articulador cultural
Frank Jarrin
Frank Jarrin
Pandero
CIO
CA
Cristina Albesa
INTEGRA INNOVATION
International Business Consultant
Gabriela Edith VIlanova
Gabriela Edith VIlanova
National Patagonia Austral University
Researcher
bM
bonnie Matourek
lwn
Chief Marketing Officer
gb
giovanni buroni
Free University of Bruxelles
Researcher
Gerard Nijboer
Gerard Nijboer
Municipality Rotterdam
Innovation Officer
JE
José Armando Espinosa Castro
UPAEP
Intern
AU
Afif Ulinuha
ITB
Lecturer
Martin Esqueche
Martin Esqueche
MUNICIPALIDAD DE SAN ISIDRO
SUBGERENTE
RV
Robert William Velasquez Salvador
WRO CAPITAL
Ceo
GK
George Kalisperides
Cyta
Vertical Markets

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$