Last week, Singapore, Barcelona and London were named the world’s top smart cities in a report by Philips Lighting and Smart Cities World.
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, said that smart cities are all about making people’s lives better by bringing everything back to basic. It’s about using data to allow city services to become quicker, cheaper and smarter.
The report by Philips Lighting and Smart Cities World looked at the drivers and hurdles faced by local and national authorities when implementing smart technology.
The cities in this prestigious top three all had their different strengths:
- Singapore was praised for their forward thinking infrastructure as well as its ingenious use of underground space and optimising buildings.
- London was commended for its community driven approach to advancing in technology.
- Barcelona was highly praised for driving technological change from the top of the food chain (top- level government).
How will smarter cities change the infrastructure of today?
First off, our current infrastructure such as our physical roads and transportation systems are all very much built for human operated vehicles. To be able to put autonomous and smarter vehicles out on the street – we need an infrastructure that does not only allow it, but is built around the vehicles that will be operating there. We reckon that we’ll see quite a few changes in the way roads are planned out and transportation laid out.
We’re already seeing changes in the way that traffic is managed in cities through smart parking and road traffic management, saving drivers as well as the city money and energy.
According to Electrical Times, smart lighting technology has proven to lower crime rates as well as lower energy consumption.
Currently, 54% of the world’s population live in cities, this number is estimated to increase to 66% by 2050. With cities consuming 78% of the world’s energy today – the supply and demand of energy is about to enter a wobbly relationship unless we make proper use of the technological advances that have been made over the last decade.
Cities worldwide are already putting theory to work and saving millions of pounds on smart lighting etc. – so it’ll only be a matter of time before all major cities start the process of becoming smart.
With smart technology and integrated networks booming, we’ve reached a point where location isn’t a major factor in ensuring IT security. The backbone of smart cities will increasingly become cloud- based solutions and managed by professional data security managers.
Philip’s research also showed that one in ten cities are lacking capacity to become smart. Due to budget limitations, poor infrastructure and a lack of leadership on implementation – there are a lot of cites that simply do not have the resources nor leadership needed to develop a smart programme.
Segment Manager at Philips Lighting, Jacques Letzelter, pinpointed a serious concern for the development of smarter cities when he explained that both maintaining current infrastructure, whilst continuing to invest in new is neither cheap nor easy. Although planning towards a smarter society has relatively short term gains (and big ones) – the upfront cost for infrastructure, knowledge and development is of a significant nature.
We’re looking forward to following the changes and challenges that smart technology will bring to both our infrastructure and lives over the next few years.
If you’re interested in smart cities too, keep coming back to our blog and we’ll keep you up to date with some of the hot news in traffic and technology!