What is a Smart City?
Smart is an emerging type of municipality that applies Information Communication and Technology (ICT) to manage public assets, resources and services efficiently, and enhance the quality of governance and communal life. The municipality and public governments collect data and insights from citizens and assets by using the Internet of Things (IoT). They analyze and process the data and use it to monitor and manage traffic and transportation systems, utilities, schools, crime detection, libraries, hospitals, water supply networks, waste management, power plants, information systems, and other community services.
Why do we need Smart City?
Integration of ICT with city management, helps city officials to get interacted with community and city infrastructures and to direct all the management activities and evolution more efficiently. Smart City provides complete equipment accessibility, appeal, and attraction with infrastructure and public insight that help the management to reduce costs and resource consumption and to increase the association between citizens and government. A smart city is developed to administrate urban flows and allow real-time responses.
Application of technology in city management benefits the administration economically, socially and environmentally. Real-time response systems reduce the expenditures dramatically as a lesser no of workers are needed and other economic losses are almost diminished. Better and more secure life is enjoyed by the citizens by using automation and other IoT applications. Features like Waste management, pollution controller, etc. lessen the environmental problems.
Features of smart city
- Remote Monitoring
Connected devices are the core functioning part of the smart city. To manage many features effectively like traffic control, smart parking and lighting controls, waste management, etc. there requires a highly efficient remote management system.
These systems use pedestrian insights to direct the street lights, traffic flow, to trail house and infrastructure condition and age, and driver’s driving to manage signals or precautionary messages, waste levels check and other tasks.
- Wi-Fi or Li-Fi connections
For interaction with the infrastructures and citizens first, the necessary thing is reliable and fast internet. It is the first thing to gain real-time responses from the network of devices and to monitor them remotely. For efficient connectivity, smart city has numerous public internet devices close to each other.
- Environment stations with sensors
A smart city has a different type of pollution sensitive device like air pollution and water pollution sensors that detects the level of pollutions. If the level increases they send notifications to the environment stations to take proper actions.
- Automatic watering
Smart watering systems are auto-adjust based on the weather so the plants in lawns and gardens or crops receive the water they need when they need it. Smart watering checks the water need in plants according to soil and fulfills it to keep them healthy and nutritious.
- Transport and Mobility
Smart and mobile transportation is another great feature of a smart city for public relief. It is the integration of functions like trip planning, booking, and payments in a mobile device. It provides a user an alternative to a private car with a variety of convenient transports on his fingertips. It allows commuters to book a ride via their smartphone and pay through e-payment. The vehicle takes commuters from their steps to the destination.
- Connected charging stations
A smart city has most of its vehicles electric. As transportation is one of the chief sources of air pollution, smart cities rely on electric vehicles to eliminate the issue. Charging stations are connected with Electric cars through GPS, so the drivers can track the stations.
- Traffic Flow Management
A smart city is tooled with advanced auto traffic systems. The system implements Artificial Intelligence and enables traffic signals to adjust on real-time traffic conditions Traffic data is sent to connected vehicles traveling in the traffic flow. Flow management system controls signals according to real-time situations and automatically send precautionary messages to the drivers if they harm any measure.
How Smart Cities work?
The smart city utilizes its network of IoT devices and other connected technologies to deal with the municipal tasks efficiently and economically. Successful smart cities follow four steps to make operations sustainable.
Smart sensors collect data of activities in real-Time.
Data collected by the sensors is analyzed and turned into useful insights.
The results achieved from the analysis stage are communicated with the decision-makers through strong communication channels.
Those data and insights are gathered to make solutions, optimize operations and resource management for enhancing the living standard of the citizens.
Smart City Technology
All the system of the smart city is controlled and managed by a highly efficient network of devices and technologies, connected through a good internet. Most of the tasks are done by these reliable technologies. The following technologies are utilized in the smart city.
- Internet of Things
IoT is the first and foremost element of a smart city. IoT is a network of connected devices like vehicles, home appliances or sensors that can communicate and exchange data. The technology is the skeleton of the management infrastructure.
- Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the technology to store data and services over a network that can be retrieved remotely. Data collected and delivered by the IoT sensors and devices is stored on the cloud or servers.
- Software Solutions
Decision-making softwares are used to solve the city’s problems such as online route management, Bin weighing, level checking in sensors, etc. They are designed and intended to respond to inputs and respond automatically.
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is a big dealer in providing relief to both the administrator and the public. Along with IoT AI has resolved healthcare, traffic management, energy crises, and many other issues. Many Sensors are also embedded with Artificial intelligence.
As the whole smart city relies on data and commands exchange, a highly secured firewall is used to ensure the protection of communication from unauthorized users.
- User Interface
Besides collecting data from the sensors, many of the facilities in the smart city require direct user interaction. Mobile applications, door security, etc. get commands from their interfaces.
- Data Analytics
Data analytics (DA) is the process of examining data sets to draw some conclusions. DA converges the digital and physical elements and prepare useful results for the communal betterment.
Capital Smart City – The first smart city in Pakistan
The Capital smart city Islamabad is the first implementation of its kind in Pakistan and third in the world. The Capital city is an aggregate of all great technologies that prosper a high quality and environment-friendly residency. Residents will experience regularities in a great way with the use of big data, Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and other hi-tech means. Dwellers will see a different and more advance sort of living in the capital smart city.
All the administrations will be monetarized and controlled remotely to ensure a better deal of communal services. Different Sensors like will track traffic flow, pedestrians walk, pollution and water levels. IoT network will connect all the vehicles, home appliances and sensors for real-time tracking of any malfunctioning or precaution. They will transmit that data or insight to the city officials through a high-speed connection in real-time. Software solutions, Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics will conclude the data to some useful actions.
- Data about traffic density will be collected through sensors at different traffic points and will be sent to the municipality through a highly secured and efficient network. This information will be available to determine the dense traffic portions and the busy times and to control the traffic accordingly to avoid traffic jams and accidents.
- Sensors will record the times of pedestrian walks and the insight will be used to control street lights i.e. bright during busy slots, dim when there will be fewer pedestrians and off in unused time. That will reduce the waste of electricity.
- Electric vehicles will be brought to diminish the Carbon emission. Air quality sensors around a city track the peak time of low air quality, recognize the pollution causes and allows officials to take remarkable steps for the environmental cure.
- Citizen’s vehicles will also be under tracking by using GPS and sensors. GPS will allow electric vehicle drivers to locate any near charging station or to find if lost. Sensors will ensure the speed limit and other precautionary measures like seat belt, if violated, a precautionary message will be sent to the driver through the transmitting process to make the journey safe.
- One more technology will be implemented in the construction of buildings, bridges, and roads that have never seen before. Smart technology will provide the authority with predictive analytics to identify areas that need to be fixed before there is an infrastructure failure. Smart sensors can track adverse structural changes, identify tilts or cracks in buildings and bridges, and transmit data to knock personnel of the concern for inspections or maintenance.
- Smart and mobile transportation is another great feature of Capital smart city for public relief. Residents of the capital smart city will do functions like trip planning, booking, and payments with a mobile device. The feature of smart and mobile transport provides them an alternative to a private car with a variety of convenient transports on his fingertips. It allows commuters to book a ride via their smartphone and pay through e-payment. The vehicle takes commuters from their steps to the destination.
- Accessible government data, government performance dashboards interactive maps, live-streamed city hall meetings, transparency into budgeting and a strong social media presence of capital city administration will create coordination between the dwellers and officials.
- Data and records will help police in crime prevention. The data regarding criminal records and activities will guide in allocating police resources to risky areas, also to out where to establish surveillance by video cameras and other means. A secured and centralized system of surveillance video cameras used in the city will give real-time access to the footage to investigators, will eliminate crime and make the city more secure.
- Water level sensors will automatically determine the water needs of plants by soil health and plant requirement in gardens and backyard and water them accordingly. This will keep them nutritious and will wipe out water wastage.
- Smart sensors will be used in waste boxes to track waste levels and automatically notify concerned authorities when they will fill.
- Robust and user-friendly services from the city are the demand of the public. These are their needs as well. Collaboration tools, modern and intuitive websites, mobile applications, self-service portals, and convenient online accounts will ensure a satisfied and quality residential to the livings.