Topic: Smart Cities
"What are the sustainability potential and planning implications of technology and/or other disruptive forms of smart practice in cities?"
The modern world is significantly striving forward with the rapid growth in all aspects of the life and way of living. The people are observed to have significant amount of speed associated to their life. Cocchia (2014), stated that with a rapid increase in the busy life style, the people are facing the absolute need of inheriting all the measures that will make sure that the desired speed in their lifestyle is achieved. Apart from the individuals the society as a collective entity is also in search of a shape that will be sufficient in upgrading the lifestyle of the people and all the other belongings of the society. In the 21st century the need of such an environment becomes highly necessary for every entity of the society. The concept of the smart city is highly effective in meeting such demand of the society and its people. However there is no specified definition of the smart city but the desired features of the smart city outlines the concept for the people and the society. The desired features of the smart city is highly variable for different societies as the need of those societies will be different. Kitchin (2014), stated that as the European society understands a framework as smart city if their desired features of the smart city are in that framework, whereas the Asian societies may have a different set of needs as the features of the smart cities. Hence the concept for both the societies will be different.
However the planners of such cities will be in need to have some definitional boundaries for the construction of the cities. Neirotti et al. (2014), confirmed that the planners of smart cities are observed to have definite aim of improving and developing the entire urban eco system and in doing so the planners focus on the institutional development, the development of the economic infrastructure of the societies along with the physical and the social development. The paper is focused in specifying the concept of the smart cities along with different attributes of it. Apart from that the paper is focused in evaluating the link between different technologies and the smart city. The paper is also able to review the challenges and the opportunities of the mentioned technology in getting applied in the smart cities.
The general motives or the objectives of planning the infrastructure of the smart cities are to produce core infrastructure and provide the people a good quality of life with precise formation of clean and sustainable environment and application of smart solutions (Vanolo 2014). The motive of the planners in creating such cities is to make a replica for other cities in order to provide inspiration and the required amount of knowledge for such concepts. The governments need to take bold initiatives for this sort of infrastructures and those initiatives are much needed in order to trigger the process of construction. The fundamental infrastructural elements that the planner of the smart cities will include are mentioned below:
Firstly the planner will concentrate on adequate amount of water supply and the desired amount of supply of electricity. Secondly the sanitation along with the solid waste management and the efficient urban mobility along with public transport will be having major importance to the planners. Apart from that the affordable housing will also be a prime objective for the planners in order to make sure that the houses are within the range of the poor people as well. One of the major need of the smart cities is the digitalization. The planners are in need to make sure that the cities are having a strong IT connectivity which will make sure that the technological needs of the people who will have their residence here, are well served. Along with this, the good governance is also a major point of concern for the planners in the special cases like the e-governance and the citizen participation (Jin et al. 2014). The planners are in need to plan the cities in such a manner that it provides sustainable environment to the citizens and the planning includes the safety and security of the children, women and the senior citizens. Apart from that, the planning must have a strong focus on the health and education of the citizens.
The above mentioned description is significant in proving that the mission of the smart cities is to increase the economic growth and the quality of the lifestyle of the people with precise focus on the development of the area by applying innovative technological solutions that will result in smart outcomes. The area based upgrade will be significant for the developmental aspects like the retrofit or redevelop in the areas like the slums or other unplanned zones in order to improve the overall quality of living for the entire city (Angelidou 2014). The introduction of the green field will be significant in the developmental activities around the city in order to make sure that the expanding population has the scope of accommodation in the urban areas. Apart from that, the usage of the smart technological solutions will have notable importance in enabling the cities to apply technology along with usage of the data or information in developing the infrastructure and services. This will be the best approach in improving the way of living and in generating incomes for all sections of the societies including the poor people. A short structure of the required smart solutions can be described in the below mentioned manner.
Firstly the E-governance and Citizen services will incorporate the points like Public information and the grievance redressal, crime monitoring by video applications, a better engagement of the citizens along with electronic service delivery (Batty 2013). Secondly, the important topics for the Waste management will be the transformation of the waste to energy and usable fuels, waste to compost, the application for the treatment of the waste water along with the recycling and reduction of the wastes. The water management will also have great significance in this case as the planners need to make sure that smart meters and the management is in place along with effective policies for the leakage identification and required preventive measures. Apart from that, the planners need to make sure that there is a strong water quality monitoring facility available in the smart cities owing to the concern of health issues of the residents from the impurities available in the non-treated water.
On the other hand, the energy management will also be significantly important for the planners of such cities as they need to have a precise focus on the aspects like smart metering for the calculation of the energy consumption and management of the energy along with the searching of the renewable sources of the energy and improving the usage of such sources. Apart from this, the planner must concentrate in building energy efficient and green construction to minimize the consumption of the energy. The aspect of urban mobility is also a significantly important topic for the planners to cover. The planners are in need to make sure that the planning and the construction of the cities are in such a manner that the mobility is always there with application of appropriate parking technology (Lee, Phaal and Lee 2013). The planners are also in need to make sure that the cities are well constructed with intelligent traffic management along with availability of multi-modal transport system.
Apart from that, the smart cities must have efficient skill development centres and the trade facilitation centres. Along with that, the cities need to be good in Tele-medicine and Tele education as well to serve their citizens.
In spite of the description of these aspects, some typical features of smart cities that are worthy of mentioning are creation of the walkable localities. The intense work pressure and the work life imbalance of the people of modern society are the reasons behind the decreasing chance of meeting the nature for those people. Apart from that, the congestion of the cities and the decreasing quality of the weather due to the significant amount air pollution provides notable obstacle to the people in having fresh air. The planners are in need to make sure that in the creation of the smart cities, they be able to reduce the congestion, the pollution of the air (Zygiaris 2013). Apart from that, the road networks need to have the desired spaces for the pedestrians and cyclists. The importance of the cycling is well known to the fitness loving individuals of the modern society and due to that reason, the administration must take care of the space for walking and cycling. In addition to this, the creation of the green spaces will be significantly good for the residents. The improvement in the way of living for the citizens, the reduction of the heat effects and improvement in the eco-balance will be achieved by the creation of the parks, playgrounds and recreational spaces. The digitalization will have great significance as the modern citizens will rely on the online services in a significant manner. The introduction of the mobile applications will be notable in order to bring the municipal offices close to the citizens and in that case it will also help in reducing the cost of the services as well (Sanchez et al. 2014). The formation of the E-groups will help in listening to the feedbacks of the people in a more effortless manner by the application of the online monitoring of the programs and the activities. The planners of the cities must concentrate in identification of best economic activity in the process of nomenclature of the new cities. The main economic activities for the cities can be the craft culture, textile, furniture, dairy, sports goods, hosiery, education or even the local cuisine.
The strategies for the implementation of the smart cities will mainly focus on the retrofitting, redevelopment and green field development (Shelton, Zook and Wiig 2015).
The justification behind the usage of the desired technology will be significant in understanding the needs of them in the construction of the smart city. As mentioned earlier the governance is an important part in any city. The smart cities are those which has the capability to reduce the worries of their citizens which are faced in the conventional cities. Hence the introduction of the E-governance and the dependence on the online services is significant. The mobile applications for the services of the municipal authorities will be much needed for this aspect as it will reduce the effort of the citizens in reaching a physical municipal building (Dameri and Rosenthal-Sabroux 2014). Apart from that it will also be notably cost efficient and less consuming as he process follows online data transmission. Apart from that one of the major concern for a planner of the smart cities will be the safety and security of the residents. In this case the video crime monitoring will be a significant technology for the planner as that will enable the administration to keep track of each and every incidents that is happening inside the city. The application of the Closed-Circuit Television camera will be a notable advantage for the planners in this case.
Several smart city planners are observed to have notable concentration on the mentioned aspect of waste management. The planners are observed to try to convert the solid wastes in energy and fuels that the citizens can use so that the consumption of the traditional sources of energy is less. Apart from that, the modern societies and cities are observed to face considerable amount of issues with the drinkable and usable water. The technology of purification of the waste water will be notably helping the smart cities in this aspect. The people will have the chance to us the waste water after the purification process for their desired purposes and in this way they will be able to reduce the water pollution as well because the waste water would have been deposited in the ponds or the rivers if there was no purification (Meijer and Bolívar 2016). The recycling of the wastes will be good for the society and many smart cities are observed to have fine recycling activities for the plastic wastes which in other way is helping the citizens with a less polluted environment.
One of the major issue in many well-known cities is the crisis of the water as the demand of the modern cities is significantly high owing to the reason of the rise in industrialization and the population (Dameri 2013). Hence the introduction of the technology for measurement of the water usage will be much needed for the planners of the smart cities. Along with that, the quality of the water is in need of repetitive monitoring as that will reduce the amount of impurities, having the potential to cause considerable amount health issues for the citizens. The technology is much needed in providing fresh water to the citizens of the smart cities.
Along with the water usage, the same issue is present in case of the electricity or the energy management. In this case the introduction of the technology is much needed in order to restrict the excessive usage of the electricity and the smart and innovative metering systems will be highly helpful for the administration in monitoring the usage of the water. Apart from this, the modern society is significantly well established with the usage of the renewable sources of energy and the experiments with the solar panels as the source of energy for the household and street lighting is having great success (Gabrys 2014). Hence the solar technology as a source of energy will be significantly efficient like the wind power and hydel power. As the society is experiencing the definite threat of the evaporation of the non-renewable sources of energy, the planners are in need to concentrate more on the non-renewable sources of energy. The technological applications in case of the household electricity systems are pretty efficient in reducing the consumption of the energy and such applications will be preferred by the planners in making the smart city energy efficient.
As mentioned earlier, the concept of the smart cities significantly relates to rapid rise in the speed of the lifestyle of the citizens, the introduction of the appropriate technology in the urban mobility will have notable advantages in the smart trafficking and in maintaining the flow of the vehicles in the city.
Though the mentioned technologies do not incorporate any significant challenges but he amount of cost that relates to it, is huge at times. Apart from that, the technological innovations will be a concern for the mentioned facilities like the solar power as it is subjected to significant amount of innovation and testing in case of its usage in the industrial purposes.
On a concluding note it can be said that the amount of infrastructural development that the smart cities associates with it, is highly benefitting for the people and the society in improving their life style. The applications of the smart cities are notably helpful for the citizens in having a comfortable and easeful life leading. But the major issue with the implementation of the smart cities are the considerable amount of cost that is related to it and that becomes not so influential for the administrative authorities in considering the plan of having the smart cities.
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