What are “Smart Cities”?

new-york-1452592-640x480Cities have always been a gauge to measure development and economic growth of any country. However, it cannot be said that the development was always “smart.” An example to illustrate that point would be the fact that health conditions of workers were greatly sacrificed for greater productivity during the Industrial revolution.

Fast forward to the modern times, with all the advancement in technology and its application in day to day activities, many cities are accumulating data, delivering innovation, and enhancing lives of citizens, which are the basics for any smart city. the term “smart cities” is a bit ambiguous. There are many definitions of smart cities that are put forth by a great many number of people. Some people choose a narrow definition – that is cities that use information and communication technologies (ICT) to deliver services to their citizens. However, I believe that the most convincing definition of smart cities is that these cities use ICT to their advantage in order to become more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint.london-3-1520690-640x480

It is seen that the people living in cities are economically motivated. These people are always on the lookout to take full advantage of modern technologies to further their personal and collective opportunities. This sometimes results in strain on the environment. To illustrate this point, an example would be of people using motor vehicles to commute to work. Everyone wants to reach office at the earliest, which often results in traffic congestion and also an increase in pollution levels. Well, smart cities are cities where citizens have to come up innovative ways to tackle such issues with the effective use of technology.

Citizens are not the only factors to consider in the evolution of cities into smart cities. Governmental and commercial entities are going to play increasingly important roles in development and implementation of technologies that pave the way to the smart city.

Given below are a few examples of smart cities around the world and how we can follow their examples to make Faridabad into a smart city.

Barcelona, Spain: This city scored high on the environment and smart parking.

New York City, USA: New York City scored high on smart street lighting and smart traffic management.

singapore-3-1564618-640x480London, UK: London scored high on technology and open data.

Nice, France: The French city scored high on environment and agency cohesion.

Singapore, Republic of Singapore: Singapore scored high on smart traffic management and creative use of technology.

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