Today, 55% of the world’s population resides in cities. According to the United Nations
, this number will continue rising well into the future, exceeding 60% by 2030 and 70% by 2050. This ravaging scale of urbanization comes with significant challenges. Most cities are struggling to keep up with the accelerated demand for housing, transportation systems, and public services, leading to informal settlements and conflicts. Rapid urbanization is also straining land and natural resources, resulting in undesirable environmental outcomes.
As city populations skyrocket, administrators are under immense pressure to maintain quality service delivery and living standards. Fortunately, the smart city movement, backed by technology, offers urban centers some much-needed reprieve. By incorporating new-age digital solutions like the Internet of Things, smart cities can significantly improve some of the most critical quality of life indicators, including living costs, safety, jobs, connectedness, health, and the environment.
What is a Smart City?
A smart city is a diverse, tech-driven framework built by information and communication technologies. Working both independently and collaboratively, these solutions drive efficiency, cost-saving, and sustainability by making the best use of citywide data.
Because of the interconnectivity involved, the Internet of Things is a key player in the smart city ecosystem. Smart city solutions utilize IoT devices like sensors, meters, gateways, data processors, servers, and end-user applications to collect data and convert it into valuable, actionable insights. With these outcomes, city authorities can develop effective strategies for resource allocation, service improvement, and future advancements.
How Is IoT Supporting Smart City Development?
With the Internet of Things, urban communities can tackle the many problems of growing urban centers and gain smarter, faster, and more sustainable cities. Read on for three exciting ways that smart city initiatives can use IoT to achieve their objectives.
1. Efficient Transportation
Many parts of the world are gradually approaching a return to relative normalcy after the COVID-19 upheaval. However, while city residents cannot wait to get back to shopping malls, sporting events, and concerts, nobody is eager to return to traffic congestion and overcrowded buses and trains.
Fortunately, smart cities and IoT solutions bring good tidings for city transportation networks. For example, IoT sensors and cameras can connect wirelessly to end-user applications and provide drivers with real-time notifications of incidents and delays along their usual routes. This information can enable commuters to make the best decisions about their trips and avoid delays.
Besides making life easier for commuters, IoT sensors can help maintenance crews detect and fix problems in transportation infrastructure before they break down and cause costly delays. For instance, wirelessly connecting bus engine sensors to a remote monitoring system can help operators monitor factors like temperature, engine speed, fuel pressure, and knocking and plan for maintenance proactively.
Experts suggest that, by 2025, cities that invest in smart-mobility solutions could achieve a 20% reduction
in average commuting times. In dense cities with extensive transit, innovative technologies could save commuters as much as 30 minutes a day.
Urbanization can take a tremendous toll on the environment. City residents consume massive chunks of food, water, energy, and land. As a result, they strain natural resources and generate tremendous amounts of waste, which adversely affects health and quality of life.
Smart city IoT systems can contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable environment in several compelling ways. For starters, utility consumption tracking with IoT-enabled metering can uncover waste points along power and water supply chains and help administrators take timely and accurate measures. Furthermore, when linked to end-user applications, connected meters can help users monitor their consumption and nudge them toward minimizing their usage.
IoT devices can also be used to track waste production and aid in efficient disposal. With air and water quality sensors, clean-up teams can accurately identify pollution causes and agents and mount targeted responses. Meanwhile, pay-as-you-throw tracking can make it easier to charge individuals, homes, and business premises for garbage disposal services. With sensors deployed in garbage bins, waste managers can know how much trash a particular client generates and bill them accordingly. This close monitoring can motivate people to reduce the volume of waste they produce.
3. Public Safety
Time is a critical factor in public security enforcement. When a 911 call is registered, every second wasted while first responders get to the scene could translate to loss of life. With IoT systems, security agencies can eliminate many hurdles that undermine timely service delivery.
Using IoT solutions to collect city data can help security agencies to detect crime and develop effective response strategies, especially when safety resources and personnel are scarce. Applications like gunshot detection and smart surveillance enable agencies to identify incidents early and quickly deploy response teams. Furthermore, IoT-powered on-street cameras can provide officers with a real-time view of city streets, enabling them to know the fastest route to an incident.
Most remarkably, IoT-based data collection and analytics can uncover incident patterns and enable predictive crime-solving. For example, by interfacing IoT with data visualization tools, officers can categorize crimes by location, identify potential criminals based on historical interactions and arrests, and catch wrongdoers before committing their next offense.
IoT and The Future of Smart Cities
As smart cities continue to take hold, modern infrastructure will likely become increasingly retrofitted with IoT solutions. When effectively deployed, the Internet of Things can enable real-time monitoring and accurate allocation of crucial city resources like power, water, transport, public services, and emergency response, and propel smart cities to mainstream implementation.
The bright future of smart cities is an exciting chance for IoT technologies to continue showcasing their worth in large-scale, multi-layered applications that benefit vast populations. So, if you are an IoT supplier, you have much to gain by focusing your attention on the rapidly growing smart city market.
Being one of the largest marketplaces for IoT products, IoT2Market
supports the smart city agenda by bringing city developers closer to the suppliers that provide the solutions they need to complete their projects successfully. With a free IoT2Market seller account, you can join the smart city revolution by quickly getting IoT products to the right prospective buyers.
Sign up today, and start playing your part in building future smart cities.