A smart city (also smarter city) uses digital technologies to enhance performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. Key 'smart' sectors include transport, energy, retail, healthcare, energy and services. A smart city should be able to respond faster to city and global challenges than one with a simple 'transactional' relationship with its citizens.
In the twenty-first century, growth, economic value and competitive differentiation of cities will increasingly be derived from people and their skills, creativity and knowledge, as well as the capacity of the economy to create and absorb innovation. To compete in this new economic environment, cities will need to better apply advanced information technology, analytics and systems thinking to develop a more citizen-centric approach to services. By doing so, they can better attract, create, enable and retain their citizens’ skills, knowledge and creativity.
More than ever before, the traditional “bricks-and-mortar” drivers of economic growth are giving way to an economy based on “brains and creativity.” Competitive differentiation today is more likely to be based on the ability of the workforce to create and absorb skills and innovation than on traditional drivers such as available natural resources, physical labour or manufacturing prowess. As a result, the skills, aptitude, knowledge, creativity and innovation of a workforce, which collectively can be viewed as the talent pool in the economy, have become increasingly important drivers of economic growth and activity.
Cities, as hubs of the global economy, are the focal points for this transformation. In the immediate future, three interconnected factors will place even more emphasis on the role of cities in talent-based economic development:
- The world is at an unprecedented level of urbanization.
- Cities contain an increasingly large share of the world’s highly skilled, educated, creative and entrepreneurial population, giving rise to highly concentrated and diverse pools of knowledge and knowledge-creation networks.
- Cities can support large-scale business and investment networks that create economies of scale in absorbing and extending innovation.
Smarter cities of all sizes are capitalizing on new technologies and insights to transform their systems, operations and service delivery. Competition among cities to engage and attract new residents, businesses and visitors means constant attention to providing a high quality of life and vibrant economic climate.
Forward-thinking leaders recognize that although tight budgets, scarce resources and legacy systems frequently challenge their goals, new and innovative technologies can help turn challenges into opportunities.
These leaders see transformative possibilities in using big data and analytics for deeper insights. Cloud for collaboration among disparate agencies. Mobile to gather data and address problems directly at the source. Social technologies for better engagement with citizens. Being smarter can change the way their cities work and help deliver on their potential as never before.
A critical question facing cities, though, is how do cities apply the steps and principles in the most cost-effective and productive fashion to implement a smart city? The answer is to focus initially on four high-impact areas of improvement:
- Reduce congestion in transport systems
- Improve public safety by reducing crime and emergency response time
- Streamline and tailor services for the citizen, including a heavy emphasis on education and training
- Enable appropriate access to healthcare data for better quality of care, early disease detection and prevention.
Planning and Management
Long term insights based on comprehensive data analysis, followed up through efficient daily management, help a city stay vital and safe for its citizens and businesses.
City leaders must design and implement a city plan to realize full potential for citizens and businesses while efficiently running daily operations.
Proper planning and management encompasses many different areas of the modern smart city and every single one has to be considered and a plan of action implemented, and just some of the key areas would be around public safety and as such Emergency Management Centres, Emergency Crisis Management Centres, Law enforcement solutions and Intelligent Law Enforcement, Integrated intelligence analysis, Tactical lead generation and Video correlation and analysis.
Smarter buildings and urban planning solutions also play a key role with Energy optimization, Enterprise Asset Management and Facilities management. Government systems are also key and a few key solutions for government would be Geographic information systems for government, Performance management for government, Smart Cloud Social Collaboration for Government and Cloud computing for regional and local governments.
Emergency Management Centre solutions are designed to help authorities with coordinated planning, mitigation, response and recovery efforts. Geospatial and analytical software is used to help aggregate information from various sources, identify adverse conditions, determine and assess multiple responsive actions and monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the actions. You can see what resources and personnel are available and where they are needed. Using the dashboard, you can dispatch the correct equipment and resources based on information coming in from the scene.
Law enforcement solutions help law enforcement agencies improve responses, reduce crime rate, and maximize limited resources. The traditional "protect and serve" role has grown beyond policing to include responsibilities such as repeat offender reduction, emergency management and terrorism interdiction. Law enforcement solutions combine data visualization with real-time collaboration and analytics capabilities to enable you to allocate your limited resources more intelligently by acting on insights in addition to traditional methods of gathering and processing information.
Ahead of public safety threats
Today’s public safety threats are more sophisticated, numerous and mobile, keeping pace requires intelligence. This means you must have access to accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive structured, unstructured, entity, link and property data. Just as important, you must be able to quickly and thoroughly analyse that information and extract actionable data and intelligence from the vast amounts of information stored.
Modern analytics software and solutions can do this. Using powerful automated analytics, these intelligence solutions provide the tools to help you identify, uncover, disrupt, deter and prosecute these threats. And the analysis results are available to authorized users when and where they are needed with data modification restricted only to users authorized to edit the results.
Organizations worldwide have found that Smarter Cities emergency management solutions can help mitigate potential events, prepare for future threats and adverse events, respond professionally to those events, and quickly return the community to normal. Organizations that take advantage of these solutions may benefit from:
- Reduced response time using almost real-time access to data.
- Increased responder safety due to shared data across organizational boundaries.
- Elevated public support from visibly improved performance.
- Lower direct costs by using existing resources more productively.
- Reduced indirect costs because of fewer adverse community impacts.
The best way for a building to become smarter is by empowering owners and managers to collect energy and operational metrics into a single, centralized location and apply enterprise-wide analytical and optimization capabilities to gain insights from that information. Modern integrated software offerings provide a comprehensive, easy-to-understand view of vital information such as monthly peak electric demand and energy usage.
The real-time data gathering and analysis capabilities allow building managers to address service issues proactively before they occur and visualize energy, environmental and portfolio performance metrics for floor space under management. The solution enhances management of heating, air conditioning and power consumption to help lower costs and emissions.
Government and Agency
Call it the triple threat of challenges for governments: a down economy accompanied by dwindling revenues and increased demands for services, aging infrastructures and facilities, and avalanches of data to manage. Factor in additional, challenges such as demonstrating accountability and transparency to the citizens they serve and providing better visibility to the regulators who oversee them. Governments on all levels need a smarter way to handle everything in sync.
Log on to a government website to pay taxes online. Use a toll tag to glide past a toll booth. Present the bar code on a license or identity card to a handheld scanner. As our tools become more intelligent and our individual worlds become more intertwined, every keystroke adds to the data that government agencies have to keep track of. The productive sharing of data among agencies and even nations is critical and performance management provides the key to efficiency and interconnection.
Performance management solutions for government aggregate critical data to deliver one complete view of the information a government generates and receives. It technically can deliver that information in a way that allows officials to truly understand in detail how they are performing against their goals and objectives, giving them power to re-allocate resources to ensure they are achieving those goals and objectives.
As a result, government can gain a more complete picture of performance, and the details that enable timely decisions. The result is projects are more effective, budgets are more controlled, offenders can no longer easily hide, and children and the elderly are less likely to slip through the cracks.
From asset and resource location awareness and logistics planning to tax assessment, emergency response and crime data analysis, governing organizations rely on geographically related data. Integrating geographic information systems (GIS) with government applications, such as asset management, water management, crime information warehousing and emergency response can extend the value of those applications by increasing accuracy, efficiency and productivity.
GIS solutions for government are designed to help organizations manage and deliver spatial data by geographic location, and integrate this data with existing applications. This can help visualize scenarios, extend intelligence, make more informed decisions and address complex issues such as:
- Asset management
- Water management
- Crime prevention
- Emergency response
Cloud Computing for Governments
Economic pressures are forcing regional and local governments to identify ways to reduce the costs and complexity of managing public services while increasing efficiency, security and transparency. To achieve this, you need cost-effective access to leading-edge systems and software, improved services and application integration, greater web-based constituent access and advanced data analysis capabilities.
The key is to provide government with access to a low-cost shared cloud computing environments with a tight mix of hardware, software and technical resources, to assist in reduce CAPEX and OPEX costs. Modern information sharing capabilities enable further savings, while eliminating overhead and reducing problems and errors. Cloud platforms go beyond mere applications to integrate entire business services and include high levels of shared data management and advanced features to help adopt new business models.
A proven security framework will offer high level data security for all cloud offerings, which are not only feature-rich but also aid comprehensive risk management. With these solutions, one can leverage a standardized view of community operations for sharing services and identifying operational best practices.
Fundamental services such as roadways, mass transit and utilities make a city desirable and liveable, but the key to keeping them viable is readiness for constant change.
City leaders must provide the fundamental infrastructure to deliver services such as water, energy and transportation while making the city a desirable place to live.
By using an instrumented approach that includes digital sensors, advanced communication networks and sophisticated analytics, an Intelligent Utility Network Solution can help your enterprise understand demand in near real time, more effectively manage supply and demand, and put greater control of energy usage into the hands of your consumers. The network creates an interconnected value chain, linking utility participants at multiple levels from power plant to plug. It then enables the intelligent flow of information, which can be used to transform and optimize regulation, generation, supply and consumption of electricity.
As water and wastewater management challenges and costs continue to increase, information technology and collaborative innovation play a vital role in helping communities, businesses and governments deal with complex water issues. The combination of new instrumentation and exploding data volumes, new data types, and the demand for real-time responses requires a new kind of water management intelligence. Current systems are generally standalone and limited in scalability, which inhibits effective decision making across departments and organizations. Smarter water management systems need to provide an integrated operating picture with robust real-time analytics, modelling and decision support capabilities.
Intelligent Water is designed to optimize water operations and to create new opportunities for innovation and business value by delivering integrated insights into a utility's infrastructure, assets and operations. The solution uses advanced data management, visualization, correlation and collaboration technologies to transform the vast amounts of disparate data received from various devices (including metering systems), assets, systems and stakeholders into actionable information that can guide executive and operational decisions.
Intelligent transportation solutions provide traffic analysis and prediction capabilities and a comprehensive, scalable platform for traffic management. Data is aggregated from multiple devices that identify and measure traffic speed and volume on city roads. For near real-time citywide visibility into traffic conditions, data can be captured from disparate sources such as cameras, radar and under-road loop detectors, as well as systems based on Bluetooth or mobile phone technology.
Transportation networks around the world are under pressure with more traffic, aging infrastructures and increased user expectations. Even a minor disruption to traffic flow can have far-reaching impacts. Mitigating or preventing incidents helps keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible and maximizes transportation network capacity.
The Transportation Management Centre solution offers tools to help prevent, manage and mitigate events. By establishing system-wide, real-time monitoring, and supplementing it with a proactive management approach, the Transportation Management Centre solution helps minimize the effect of incidents.
The Transportation Management Centre solution uses a dashboard view of the entire network that allows you to drill down to specific roadway segments and intersections. It delivers a coordinated device control framework to enable system-wide active traffic management.
Smarter cities use the system of systems to their advantage when supporting the needs of each citizen through social programs, healthcare and education.
City leaders must provide services that support the social, health and educational needs of citizens.
Social programs need to cover a wide range of issues and provide services and solutions for them including disability management, employment, pensions, family services, social assistance and healthcare reform.
Disability and workers’ compensation programs have to go beyond the purely physical and medical aspects of disability and rehabilitation. Health and rehabilitation needs are complicated by poverty, social exclusion and barriers to services. To address these challenges, government organizations need to become more citizen-centric and collaborative. Solutions for disability management will combine information, screening and intake processes with analytics and case management to help deliver better outcomes for individuals, families and society.
People who have lost a job require a unique set of services to help them through difficult times, to re-establish their careers and return to self-sufficiency. Organizations that serve the workforce need the ability to differentiate the response required for each individual and assign resources accordingly. Solutions for employment help government organizations deliver the right response timeously, to help maximize resources and improve results. It combines analytics and case management capabilities that can deliver smarter claim management and better outcomes for individuals.
Pension organizations face funding challenges because of demographic changes that relate to the ratio of active workers to retired people who are drawing a pension. People may be members of a public pension program from the time they enter the workforce until the end of their lives, with membership lasting more than 70 years. During this entire period, accurate records must be maintained. People also may have multiple pension plans, both public and private. Organizations must be able to provide a consolidated view of their potential retirement outcome across all of the plans.
Pension programs are primarily focused on meeting the needs of the aged. However, they also can provide income replacement for people who experience disability. To support pension reform, solutions for pensions combines analytics and high-volume transaction processing with self-service and automation capabilities. The solution empowers citizens with insights and tools to help them make better decisions.
Families today are more broadly defined and complex than before. Stepfamilies, single parents, foster and adoptive families, and families headed by married or unmarried partners of the same or opposite gender are all part of the mix. Multi-generational households are more prevalent due to unemployment and a difficult economic climate. People are living longer, either independently or with family. Government organizations need new approaches that address these challenges in programs designed for child welfare, juvenile justice, elder care and other family services.
Family services systems deal with enormous amounts of data and high numbers of users. Collecting all of this data and using it to connect citizens to the right programs is critical. The family services solutions enable administrators to analyse this information to create differentiated service plans based on each person’s or family’s unique life circumstances, and helps locate and coordinate the delivery of benefits and services across program boundaries.
Solution for Social Assistance support a range of social programs that assist eligible individuals and their families during economic hardship. This assistance includes cash payment programs, tax credits, food assistance, housing subsidies, utility subsidies, child care, medical care and other programs. These solution help caseworkers screen eligible program participants to identify optimal programs for their needs; determine benefit entitlement and eligibility; make payments; and manage ongoing changes in circumstances that may affect entitlement.
Interest in Smart Cities…
Interest in smart cities is motivated by major challenges, including climate change, economic restructuring, and the move to online retail and entertainment, ageing populations, and pressures on public finances. The terms 'intelligent city' and 'digital city' are also used.
With the economic and social development, a modern city is now more like an information Society with wide use of computers and networks than an Industrial Society of the past.
Computers and platforms are connected and communicate via GPS, Wi-Fi, RFID and OBD-II to remotely manage the client devices, and collect data. There’s a lot of talk about making things smarter using electronic gadgetry. We have in our lives electric replacements for just about everything, only to find that sometimes the old ways were the best when combined with a modern twist.
Smart Transportation Systems (STS) are advanced applications and hardware which, without embodying intelligence as such, aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and 'smarter' use of transport networks.
Connecting patients’ terminals, nursing stations, examination rooms, emergency medical services, and integrating modern technologies such as PACS and HIMSS systems. Also known as Digital healthcare, it is a modern discipline that involves the use of information and communication technologies to help address the health problems and challenges faced by patients.
These technologies include both hardware and software solutions and services. Generally, digital healthcare is concerned about the development of interconnected health systems so as to improve the use of computational technologies, smart devices, computational analysis techniques and communication media to aid healthcare professionals and patients manage illnesses and health risks, as well as promote health and wellbeing.
Automatically check the inventory and real-time sale status and monitor information through applications, connected and by mobile devices, utilizing RFID and modern technology to maintain all aspects of a retail environment. Smart Retail refers to solutions that consolidate and automate most aspects of any retail environment streamlining inventory management, providing real-time information monitoring, extending manageability on the go and client centric retail management solutions.
The more convenient our lives become, the more data needs to be collected, analysed and transmitted. The key to smart retail is to enable secure, centralized capabilities that connect all aspects of the business, to minimize the complexity of any store through services consolidation while extracting new levels of information to help you understand the customer’s needs better, reduce operational costs and drive profitability.
Intelligent machinery, future looking systems and remote control platforms are deployed in an unmanned manufacturing factory. The future scenario of the “smart factory” represents the zenith industrial automation and labour. The factory can be modified and expanded at will, combines all components from different manufacturers and enables them to take on context related tasks autonomously. Integrated user interfaces will still be required at most for basic functionalities. The complex control operations will run wirelessly and ad hoc via mobile terminals such as PDAs or smartphones.
The smart home of the future is on that is automated. Home automation is the residential extension of building automation. It is automation of the home, housework or household activity. Home automation may include centralized control of lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), appliances, security locks of gates and doors and other systems, to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency and security.
The popularity of home automation has been increasing greatly in recent years due to much higher affordability and simplicity through smartphone and tablet connectivity. The concept of the "Internet of Things" has tied in closely with the popularization of home automation.