What makes a city smart?


What makes a city smart?

  • A smart city is one that employs advanced technology like sensors, analytics and a powerful network that can use data to improve the functioning of city services and the quality of life for residents.

City governments throughout the nation and the world are taking advantage of the Internet of Things and big data technologies that can transform a municipality into a “smart city.” But what makes a city smart, exactly, and what are the benefits of smart city technology for local governments and residents? This brief introduction to what makes a city smart provides answers to these questions and others.

What makes a city smart?

A smart city uses sensors, cameras and Internet of Things devices along with powerful networks and analytics software to collect data and develop insight that can improve management of city services. From transportation and utilities to public safety and civic engagement, a smart city optimizes infrastructure and resources to improve the quality of services and quality of life for its citizens.

The many potential benefits of smart city technology include:

  • Reduced traffic congestion and shorter commute times.

  • Safer streets for pedestrians and bicyclists.

  • Improved parking availability.

  • Lower energy consumption and more efficient energy delivery.

  • Reduced levels of crime.

  • Fewer pollutants and lower carbon emissions.

  • Less waste and reduced costs.

  • Faster emergency response times.

  • Greater access to high-speed Internet and digital tools for residents and students.

What makes a city smart in terms of infrastructure?

Smart city infrastructure tends to include four kinds of technology:

  • Sensor-enabled devices, cameras, GPS technology and other devices that can capture valuable data.

  • High-speed networks with enough bandwidth to connect a wide variety of devices and convey the data they produce.

  • Software to aggregate and analyze data and produce actionable information.

  • Interfaces that can communicate valuable intelligence to city employees and helpful information to city residents.

What makes a city smart on transportation?

A smart city uses a number of technologies to improve transportation times, alleviate congestion, increase roadway safety and make parking easier.

  • Intelligent traffic management uses smart traffic lights to adapt to real-time traffic conditions, moving vehicles through the city more quickly while providing additional protection for pedestrians and bicyclists.

  • Connected vehicles communicate data to city infrastructure that can help to ease congestion, improve illumination at night and simplify parking.

  • Smart parking programs use sensors, cameras and other data to provide drivers with real-time information about parking availability, and to simplify parking enforcement.

What makes a city smart on public safety?

A smart city can ensure the safety of its citizens with technology that includes:

  • Monitoring devices on critical infrastructure like power plants and bridges that can provide early warning of potential dangers.

  • Drone monitoring of crowds, traffic, construction sites and disaster areas that alert city officials to potential problems and aid the efforts of first responders.

  • Video surveillance that helps law enforcement to find and apprehend criminals.

  • Wearable cameras for police officers that promote transparency, document evidence and develop greater trust between officers and citizens.

  • Monitoring of environmental conditions to reduce pollution and its impact on the environment.

What makes a city smart on utilities and infrastructure?

Smart city technology for management of utilities and power consumption includes:

  • Smart grid technology for electricity that improves efficiency of delivery while reducing levels of usage.

  • Smart street lights that use less power and turn off or dim when not needed.

  • Smart water management that uses smart meter technology and leak detectors to reduce wasted resources and improve service for utility customers.

  • Smart waste management solutions with sensor-enabled trash and recycling bins that let city workers know when they need to be emptied.

What makes a city smart when it comes to civic engagement?

A smart city makes it easier for residents, businesses and community leaders to communicate and engage on digital platforms that enable more civic participation. Smart city technology also includes digital platform tools that allow citizens to access information and services from any Internet-connected device, and smart kiosk technology stationed in public spaces that can provide help with wayfinding, event information, charging electronics, access to WiFi, and access to emergency services.

Across the nation, partnering with Spectrum Enterprise is what makes a city smart.

Spectrum Enterprise delivers connectivity solutions that serve as the foundation of today’s smart city infrastructure. With a fully interactive digital network, more than 350,000 WiFi hotspots throughout the country, one of the nation’s largest LTE cellular networks, gigabit connections for businesses and residences, and 100 Gbps symmetrical speeds for governments and other enterprises, Spectrum Enterprise provides the framework that city governments need to take advantage of new and emerging smart city services.

Learn more about Spectrum Smart Cities at www.spectrumsmartcities.com.