Since it first entered the city planning lexicon in 2010 with IBM’s flashy Smarter Cities Challenge, the term Smart City has been used to paint with a broad, technology-heavy brush.
Smart Cities have commonly been associated with futuristic technological networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and large-scale data capture. However, this input-focused view has, in recent years, turned toward a more outcome-focused space that’s potentially changed what the ‘smart’ in Smart City means.
The idea of a Smart City has often been focused on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the Internet of Things – objects embedded with sensors for data exchange – as well as mobile solutions and big data to help the government improve operational efficiency. Some examples of Smart City infrastructure include:
- Using sensors in bins to amass data and make waste management and collection more efficient
- Smart parking that directs commuters to available parking spots using real-time data (and helps identify overstay)
- Management of lighting networks and fault identification, which can also be combined with air quality sensors and CCTV
- Monitoring energy consumption to understand how much an asset, such as a BBQ, is being utilised