What Makes A City A SMART One?

A Smart City is simply a solution to the serious and urgent situation the world faces today. The emergence of Smart Cities is due to the convergence of market conditions, technology innovation, social wants, government needs and the migration to urban environments which is now happening on a global scale.

A Smart City has many evolving definitions. The flexibility in defining a SMART city provides cities the opportunity to use their own local set of priorities and needs to define their programs, procedures, and policies. To most people, the word SMART is used as an acronym to mean Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals.

These same frameworks made a list of 10 elements that make a city a SMART one. These elements include Citizen Services, Education, Energy, Green Buildings, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Public Safety, Transportation, Waste, and Water.

The interesting thing about the idea of a Smart City is the way the elements are integrated to work together. As cities begin the transformation into Smart Cities, an important thing to consider is how such cities will address the challenges they will definitely face. These challenges include the social, economic, engineering and environmental challenges.

Of course, each city has its own system. The traffic, mass transit, infrastructure, energy, waste and even telecommunications. In order for a city to fully transform into a SMART one, it needs to be able to provide access to its intelligence behind the knowledge and merge all elements together to form a single great unit.

Due to the adoption of IT (information technology) solutions over the past few decades by cities, the world has created a large and interconnecting amount of data. This operation of these data has made it possible to complete tasks in a more effective and efficient way. Theoretically, a SMART city will need to be able to offer a better solution to handle all of these data in all shapes and sizes.

The cities that are able to solve the issue of handling complex data are on the right path to being a Smart City. Such cities will need to encompass aspects of intelligent transportation, security, energy management, harmful gas emissions, and sustainability into its functionality. Identifying and managing the digital DNA of a city needs to be proactively approached. This will be the basis on which effective and efficient use of data of the city will be based on. A Smart city needs to be able to repurpose its existing data and utilize it in building the environment. The environment of the city is already built to some extent as there are Building Departments, Engineering Departments, Land Departments, Planning Departments, Tax Departments, Postal Services, which all collect and manage vast amounts of data that when viewed as a single unit, gives the blueprint of the physical city.

The accuracy, authentication, and integration of this city data are the major proactive approach to transforming the city into a Smart City. Without proper digital DNA structure and management, the inter-connectivity of the city will be a problem. This will ultimately limit the performance and evolution of the city into a Smart City.

A Smart City’s success will be a measure of how well the quality of life of its residents improves. This is the greatest challenge of our generation and also best legacy we can leave for our children to enjoy.

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