Creating a smarter city requires more than just the implementation of IoT sensors and intelligent end points. Some still have the perception that all of this IoT technology, and its ability to capture reams of data, qualifies a metropolitan area as a smart city. The truth is that its not about collecting data, but connecting the data in a way that enables smarter decision making. A smart city is one whose objective is to aggregate data, analyze it and respond in real time to the problems that affect its citizens in their everyday lives. Ultimately, the goal is to create safer and more comfortable modes of existence for all citizens, workers and visitors. An added bonus offered by a smart city is a healthier, better connected and more aware lifestyle. The following article, which is the first in a series, offers some great insight into the details of how a city can make itself smarter – and a better place to live, work and play.
Before charging forward, we must remember first to look backward. The stories of human development and urbanization are deeply intertwined. As homo sapienstransitioned from loose populations of hunter-gatherers roaming across the natural world to massive communities densely packed in steel megalopolises, we’ve seen an increase in life expectancy, better access to knowledge, and the rise of global connectivity. Cities have been the epicenter of technological development. They’ve hosted large-scale efforts to cure the main ailments of human life—from the temples at Ur and the terraced farms at Machu Picchu to the oncology centers in Houston, Texas to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.