Highlighting the positive impacts the Smart City idea is having on the People and the Environment
For about 20 years development of smart cities has experienced technological, economic and social evolution such as the development of the tele cities, informational cities and virtual cities, inventions and innovations, privacy concerns and security concerns. The study of smart cities has therefore attracted the attention of scholars from across disciplines, like Urban planning. Architecture Environmental Science, Computer Science, Economics, Geography as well as other social science disciplines. The development of smart cities has therefore brought about both positive and negative impacts on society and the environment. This paper, therefore, aims at highlighting the positive impacts the smart city idea is having on the people and the environment, the challenges in implementing the idea and finally a suggestion of possible actions that ought to be put in place to solve the identified challenges. Positive Impacts of The Smart Cities Development Development of ICTs, Internet and Technological Innovations. The vast amount of information in the city can now be easily acquired, organized, processed and analyzed due to the advancement of information and communication technologies.
The collected data ranges from traffic housing, demographics, security and public utilities. The collected data can, therefore, be used to solve a range of problems within an urban setting like traffic congestions, poor housing, insecurity, problems, etc. Technologies give us the capacity for real-time situational awareness, smart decision making and sustainable deployment of public resources Desouza Bhagwatwar 2012 Promotion of Entrepreneurship. One of the underlying objectives of the smart city is to promote a pro-business environment by offering advanced services, thus expanding business opportunities within the city. These environments nurture social and entrepreneurial innovation attract creative, talented and skilled workers and serve as testing grounds for innovative business models and smart and green technology products Angelidou 2017. The design of the future smart cities must, therefore, take into consideration the needs of business opportunities to be able to attract investments. Without adequate investment, the whole idea of the so-called Smart Cities will lose its meaning. A city without necessary services is inhabitable. Ensuring the security and safety of those living within the city. To ensure the safety and security of those residing in the smart city’s security measures ensuring intelligent threat detection, such as surveillance, simulation modeling, and biometric data collection forms part of the smart cities security systems.
To ensure successful intelligence gathering and surveillance equipment such as closed-circuit television CCTV and biometric hardware have been deployed in the cities to collect raw data. Collected data is analyzed and stored safely and frequently used to ensure that the security of city residents is assured. As will be discussed later such surveillance and intelligence gathering are likely to raise privacy concerns. Privacy and security are two other interrelated topics that are so closely tied together that they could be regarded as a single inclusive issue to be addressed in the context of smart cities Angelidou 2017. Global collaboration and Networking of Cities. The smartness of a city is also measured by its ability to link and network with other cities both nationally and globally. By collaborating with other cities especially neighboring cities a city is likely to benefit from the economies of scales. The benefits of partnerships and collaboration with other cities and communities include 1 knowledge and experience exchange, 2 economies of scale pooling of common resources and sharing infrastructure and, 3 complementarities in weak and strong points and joint addressing of challenges Angelidou 2017.
Cities can be networked by information communication technologies as well as good road networks. This ensures the easy and efficient flow of information as well as goods and services. Cities may also collaborate in different sectors such as health, security, housing resource management, etc. Solving Transport Related Problems. The information communication technology of the smart cities can also be useful in addressing the city transportation systems, sensors can be used to manage the mobility needs with an appropriate Intelligent Transport System ITS that takes care of congestion, predicts the arrival of trains, buses or other public transportation options, managing parking space availability, expired meters, reserved lanes etc. Hernández Muñoz et al 2011. And to ensure the successful application of intelligent transportation systems in managing transport-related problems in the city, the system must be integrated with other vital data gathering systems such as surveillance cameras. Ensuring a Sustainable City. A smart city should be sustainable by ensuring that the population is healthy economically empowered, socially included and environmentally resilient. The information communication and technology may, for instance, be used for environmental and energy monitoring. By monitoring energy consumption and emission across sectors a city can improve accountability in energy and carbon use. Sensors also do play important roles in waste management by relaying important information to the authorities when a landfill is exhausted. This will ensure that a city is clean thus attracting possible investors both local and global.