Having lots of data is always helpful when putting plan in motion. The sensors and IoT technologies implemented in cities across the globe have done a great job of gathering information about traffic congestion, pollution and populations shifts. But what good is all this data if cities do nothing with it? It’s nice to know how many cars pass by a certain intersection each day, but there need to be a next step to make all the data collection and analysis meaningful.
Add this fact that the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 with two-thirds of these people will living in cities, and the message is clear: collaboration, planning, and executing programs based on what we’ve learned about cities is the next big step in creating a more sustainable, livable, and productive world.
Consider this example: through sensors and analytics, it’s determined that a city street has X number of potholes … and it’s a problem. People need to take this information and develop solutions to rectify what the data revealed. In this case, smart materials are leading to modular roads made from recycled plastic that are hollow, taking flood water, generate their own electricity for self de-icing, and even charge electric vehicles at speed. The pothole fixit could even yield smart roads that are embedded with interactive lighting, self-powered and structural health monitoring. It’s the solution to the problem that requires human interaction.
The smart cities of tomorrow will engage citizens, enterprises and government to help create an intelligent, connected ecosystem. It’s a powerful blend of technology and humanity, connecting IoT and people, data and delivery to make smart cities not just smart for the sake of being smart, but to create a better living environment for its inhabitants.
According to research firm IDTechEx, “We were warned that big data is a cybersecurity issue and, although progress is being made, the smart city is becoming something far more ambitious than data alone will achieve. Information technology is a support role.” IDTechEx discusses this notion in a research report, “Smart City Opportunities: Infrastructure, Systems, Materials 2019-2029.”