Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing cities around the globe. Urban spaces that embrace smart tech are improving accessibility and transport infrastructure while reducing carbon emissions in urban areas.
Smart cities have the potential to make us more productive, too. Folks who work in smart cities benefit from greater tech support and can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve their efficiency.
A recent multinational study found that folks who have access to green space have better mental health and are less likely to struggle with anxiety and depression. However, many cities have become concrete jungles without the parks, blue spaces, and open areas that we need to be happy.
Construction in these urban areas is usually unsustainable, too, as carbon-intensive materials are used to erect buildings that will be destroyed when their usefulness is outlived. Research published in Sustainable Development of Construction Management and Engineering found that transport and demolition is the biggest source of carbon emissions involved in construction.
Automation, however, can change the way we build urban environments forever. Construction companies that embrace automation can use robotics to install solar panels in hard-to-reach areas. Construction firms can also utilize 3D printing to produce cheaper, more sustainable materials that are custom-made and easier to transport.
Smart cities typically prioritize green spaces, too. Urban planners who utilize the IoT and automation can get more from the existing developments and can turn their attention to development projects that improve folk’s quality of life. This is great news for folks who work in urban environments, as employees can spend their break time exploring local parks and wildlife reservations.
Smart cities can support businesses that take their corporate social responsibility (CSR) seriously. Urban planners that adopt wide-scale digitization help businesses reduce their energy use and better manage their resources. This means that sustainability-oriented businesses can maintain offices in urban areas without having to compromise their commitment to combat climate change.
Smart grids have the potential to reduce energy use in urban areas, too. Smart grids are capable of sensing energy fluctuations in demand and storing energy in home energy storage units. Though costly, smart grids in cities like Amsterdam give residents the power to resell the energy they store and can reduce the risk of energy overload across urban areas.
Cities that utilize the IoT can support worker well-being, too. Employees who use wearable devices can connect to the larger network of city-wide devices to find greenspaces and plan walks. Employees can reduce the time they spend commuting and better plan their journeys, too. Wearable devices give users real-time updates on train delays and traffic, meaning folks can sidestep queues and find quicker routes to work.
Integrating smart cities and smart workplaces does present a security challenge to businesses and local governments. Free-flowing information is wonderful for productivity and connectivity, but malicious actors may be able to expose flaws in security from anywhere in the network. Fortunately, most businesses and governments use cloud storage solutions that are renowned for their tight security.
The future of office buildings will integrate smart building management systems, project management tools, wireless networking, task automation, and artificial intelligence to improve employee productivity and offer staff greater flexibility during their workday.
Smart workplaces embrace hybrid work models and give staff greater control over how they work. Hybrid workplaces don’t have to cram all their employees into cubicles and can redesign their office space to bolster teamwork and communication. This means that employees have more space for collaboration and can choose to work in the environment that best supports their lifestyle.
Smart office buildings place a premium on flexibility. The offices of tomorrow will embrace multipurpose design and may play host to a range of retail, residential, and recreational spaces in addition to traditional office floors.
Some municipalities may be hesitant to embrace smart workplaces with multipurpose design. However, office spaces that utilize smart technology are usually designed to improve the well-being of residents, too. Smart workplaces use their floorspace more efficiently and well-utilized office spaces give residents access to important services and amenities while platforming profitable businesses, too.
Smart workplaces also have the potential to improve resident well-being and local infrastructure. Cities like Atlanta utilize smart technology to close the digital divide and support 5G connectivity throughout the city. Improved connectivity can reduce accidents, too, as CityIQ sensor nodes are connected to a wider IoT sensor platform to discover dangerous intersections, track near misses, and plan new bicycle paths.
Smart cities and smart workplaces share a synergistic relationship. Smart cities are an attractive proposition for future-oriented businesses that care about their CSR. Smart grids ensure that businesses draw from clean energy supplies and 3D-printed building materials give urban planners greater control over the types of buildings that are built across their city. Likewise, smart workplaces can give back to the community by freeing up space for amenities and recreational facilities. Smart workspaces place a premium on flexibility and multi-functionality, meaning a single building can play host to offices, childcare centers, gyms, and grocery stores.