What City Planners Need to Know About Smart Cities

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

As the global population expands, society faces new challenges concerning safety, convenience and sustainability. Cities everywhere are utilizing Internet of Things (IoT), increasing the functionality of urban systems. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can support the efficient expansion of cities, accessing the cloud for optimal connections.

Current models work effectively, causing other regions to adopt similar systems. Urban areas must partner with planners, developing sustainable infrastructure, making expansive connection possible. Before beginning construction, planners must evaluate the critical features of smart cities, ensuring optimal efficiency. 

Energy Distribution

Smart cities require vast quantities of electricity. Developing a reliable grid with an abundant output is essential. Without adequate electrical support, cities may fail to support ICT.

Autonomous energy monitoring and maintenance technology can increase efficiency, supporting a system’s functionality. Cities can use the devices, altering power production, conserving resources and delivering optimal resources. 5G technology can increase the effectiveness of energy distribution in smart cities.

Planners can utilize autonomous 5G devices like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for distribution efficiency and inspections. Just like the smart city itself, the UAVs require limited human intervention. They increase workers’ safety, helping them access issues from an off-site location.

They also increase the flow of electricity by solving limiting issues quickly and efficiently. Unlike human alterations, the UAVs make fewer mistakes, keeping the ICT on track. Additionally, planners can utilize autonomous technology to conserve electricity.

With limited sources and a significant intake, cities must closely monitor their energy usage. Installing autonomous electricity monitors can help individuals lower their intake, improving the grid’s support. The Empire State Building reduced its energy consumption by 38% after installing a smart monitor.

Additionally, the building saved $4.4 million in a year, supporting other technological advancements. Conserving funds is also essential in the planning process, helping the community alter its infrastructure for smart technology adoption.

Structural Upgrades

Smart city planners must also evaluate the compatibility of current buildings and infrastructure with IoT. A city in Virginia recently updated its toll booths, adding ICT to support a new pricing strategy. Before their upgrade, the city based prices on its data predictions.

Since the update, the city can alter toll costs using real-time data. They converted an outdated system into one that monitors traffic autonomously. IoT sends the data through a processing system that adjusts the prices.

Planners can take the toll model and apply it to other structures in their city. Adding modern equipment to older buildings, like churches, can preserve their aesthetic while increasing their compatibility with the system. Increasing the power efficiency of indoor lighting can significantly improve a smart system’s stability.

Conserving energy and improving convenience can significantly benefit the community. Smart lighting systems can additionally increase safety in public spaces. You can program the lights to turn on during certain hours, illuminating secured spaces.

Smart Transportation

The transportation system in cities is pollution generating and dangerous. Fortunately, planners can limit complications, decreasing ecological impacts and increasing security with smart features. Cities began implementing rideshare app safety measures recently using IoT.

New York City limited the pickup and drop-off locations available to drivers, decreasing traffic and idling times. They also connected ridesharing apps to the cloud, autonomously tracking real-time location data. The technology also identifies the arrival of a vehicle, sending license plate information to reduce ride stealing and false identification.

Planners may also evaluate bike-sharing systems as a sustainable and energy-efficient alternative to driving. The transportation option uses IoT, connecting a customer’s payment information to the company through the cloud. It also decreases greenhouse gas emissions, conserving the environment.

Beijing is also increasing the efficiency of its transportation sector using autonomous vehicles (AV). They began using the smart devices through the pandemic, safely delivering medical supplies without contact. Now, they are incorporating ICT into their modern transit system.

Staying Informed

The world of connective technology is constantly changing. With safety and efficiency at the forefront of developers’ minds, planners must remain aware of the latest updates. When one begins designing a smart city, they can generate flexibility, allowing for alterations over time. 

Author bio:

Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co.