The concept of a smart city is being embraced by countries and their cities worldwide. This concept of a smart city is focused on self-sustainability and energy efficiency that can be attained through the use of technology. Ubiquitous connectivity of information systems also provides a tremendous opportunity for the IT market as a whole.
The importance of smart cities cannot be denied. At present, over 50% of the world’s population live in cities. It is estimated that by 2050 around 6.3 billion people will in cities. Therefore, to be able to adapt to such growth that is sustainable, it is important to adopt and properly implement Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and other IT services and networks.
This has provided opportunities for big multi-national IT corporations, such as IBM, Accenture, CISCO and many others to come to the fore and help in the building of Smart Cities around the world. An example of such collaboration is CISCO coming together with the South Korean government to create the city of Songdo, where escalators know when people approach and telepresence embedded homes and offices. An other such collaboration will see the city of Masdar in Dubai become a complete sustainable city with solar energy farms and a complete ban on petroleum vehicles. The city of Masdar is set to boast an ultra-secure IT protection framework.
Governments of many countries have already adopted new technologies such as mobile devices, data analytics and powerful web applications in order to better administrate and communicate with its citizens. With the use of such technology, governments around the world are easily able to sort issues such as traffic congestion by analysing the problem areas during peak hours, intuitive crime reporting systems which highlight problem areas, and help in averting environmental disasters by alerting the citizens in advanced.
Smart cities have become an irrefutable reality in today’s world. This is a fact as these cities provide significant solutions to sustainability, energy conservation and the reduction of poverty. Through a convergence of social innovation, technological progress and advances in construction, smart cities are destined to change the way the world lives and work.