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Internet Of Things And Smart City Paradigm

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Discuss about the Internet of Things and Smart City Paradigm.



The ‘city’ has indeed transformed in the past 100 years, from the industrial city to the service city, to the modern metropolis with several services and facilities. This transformation has also led to people envisioning the kind of city that they would want to live in and how life should be in these modern cities. In comes the concept or paradigm of the ‘smart city’; a smart city is a city that has things and facilities within its ecology that are intrinsically ‘smart’ and are capable of harmoniously working with the other things and facilities that may be considered ‘smart’ as well. For the ‘things’ and facilities to smartly work in harmony among each other and with others, they must have a seamless means of communication (Hunt et al., 2015).

Communications among ‘things’ is becoming increasingly possible, thanks to the IoT (Internet of things) concept. IoT is a fairly recent paradigm in the field of communications in which a future where everyday objects in life, from fridges to cars and even supermarket aisles will have transceivers, micro-controllers, fitting protocol stacks, and circuits to enable them communicate with each other is envisioned. These devices will communicate seamlessly with each other and their users and become an integral part of the Internet. The IoT is the framework that can make the smart city paradigm possible, making it easy to know which roads have the most traffic, the nearest health center, and where less power is being used at what time so planners can route power and even Internet traffic resources to areas where it is most needed (Atzori, Iera and Morabito, 2010). 

This paper discusses the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm; it will discuss its historical development over the years, the present areas of research focus and what has been discovered so far. The paper will also delve into the key questions on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm that is fueling research and the methodologies and methods being employed in their research and the main findings from such research. The paper will then make a conclusion and propose areas where future research can be done. This paper is a literature survey where only scholarly sources will be used in evaluating, discussing, summarizing, and condensing the findings into brief but informative topics concerning the articles used.

Indeed, as the world has become more interconnected, new challenges have arisen; there are too may vehicles on the road while technology and electronics permeate almost all areas of life. This has created new challenges, such as energy consumption, green house gas emissions, and other challenges such as congestion and stretched public resources. This paper will make a contribution to the existing body of knowledge in this nascent concept, increase the understanding of the concept and create greater interest in research with the aim of making it a reality and moving civilization forward towards a more ‘smart city’ with smart living; where for instance, medical providers can monitor the key health indicators for an elderly person living alone to provide better health care.


Historical background of the IoT and the Smart City paradigm

The concept of the smart city goes way back in history, where terms such as the ‘know-how’ city were used. After the Second World War, there was an increase in the know-how and faith in machines which partly translated into increased interest in computers helping in social analyses. Grants by the Federal Government of the USA during the cold war and presence of main frame computers helped increase this interest. Architects, city planners, and social scientists were particularly interested in how computers could be used in analyzing and developing public policy. In the 1950s, the Los Angeles city departments of building, planning, and safety mocked computer punch cards for a system they envisioned would help in tracking and analyzing all pieces of property in Los Angeles (Vallianatos, 2013). The city submitted a funding proposal for a Metropolitan Area fact bank where electronic and electro mechanical data processing systems were to be used in accomplishing every day service rendering tasks; it used three solid state computers for the task. In 1967, a community area analysis bureau was launched in LA; it performed community analysis tasks to avoid obsoleteness. The bureau aimed at eliminating the threat of alums and improving sanitation, using computer aided analysis. By 1974, the community bureau analysis proposed a cluster analysis method that allowed data to propose its own ‘natural grouping’ such that, for example, it was able to identify city sections that were physically far from each other but shared important physical and social characteristics. The data was stored in databases and used cluster analysis methods (Vallianatos, 2013). The 1970s saw increased use of aerial photography for analysis an planning. Transportation systems are planned based on data gathered using various computer aided methods, as is traffic management and housing development. Presently, new technologies such as IoT has created greater opportunities for realizing the complete smart city paradigm.

Present research on the present research: Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm have focused on the area of standards and interoperability. Just like in other emergent technologies, for instance, during the development of DVD and VHS tape standards, different manufacturers and players had their different standards. The same is true for the IoT, the platform in which the smart city paradigm’s functionality is based upon. For the smart city dream to be achieved, devices must be able to communicate seamlessly and inter-operably with other devices and communications channels run by other manufacturers. Presently, key players in the industry, including IBM, Cisco, and Intel, all have their own standards for communication for the IoT. First, there are legal technicalities and issues that must be addressed and the issue of a uniform standard also be addressed. The global acceptance of the present research: Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm and its realization greatly depend upon the standard that will be widely accepted. There are various other emergent technologies and underlying standards that will affect it and need to be considered, including $ and 5 G technologies, and ZigBe and Wi-Fi (Muhic and Hodzic, 2014).

Other areas of research relates to its economic and social benefits under the context of context specific data as the system already has many sensors installed and these generate volumes of data in different raw formats; understanding this data is only possible while value is added to it in a contextual framework (Perera et al., 2014). Research is also rife in the areas of loud computing and its role in advancing the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm and how the needs of end users can better be captured and taken care of (Gubbi et al., 2013). The architecture of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm is also a major topic and area of present research where the information framework that will actualize the concept is being researched on (Jin et al., 2014), (Gubbi et al., 2013), as are issues of privacy and security; the system will involve a lot of interconnectivity and data generation, including health data, and so security becomes a natural issue and topic of research (Roman, Zhou and Lopez, 2013), (Ziegeldorf, Morchon and Wehrle, 2013), (Madakam, 2015). 


Present Findings on Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm, research has established, is a promising platform that will greatly impact the Internet of the future and completely change how resources and people are managed. For instance, sensing has been touted as a service model for enhancing and making real the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm (Perera et al., 2013). Research has established that the IoT will incorporate seamlessly and transparently a large number of heterogeneous and different end systems while also offering open access to select data subsets upon which several digital services can be developed (Zanella et al., 2014). Already, the possibilities for the application and use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm are many, from monitoring patients, monitoring fleets, to getting weather data and military applications to knowing when to make replenishments in the home fridge; its applications and possibilities remain limitless (Vermesan and Friess, 2016).

Some of the findings from research delve on everyday applications where the concept of citizen data sharing and wearables in the smart cities paradigm based on the IoT platform is now a reality. A petty offenders’ movement can be tracked by law enforcement officers in real time as is the whereabouts of children and teenagers to help keep them safe. Applications have been developed to track personal items, including keys and luggage, all based on the IoT platform. Research has established wide and increasing use of IoT in the smart city in the area of surveillance and security. Surveillance cameras help in ‘street patrolling’ and have been used to help solve crimes such as the Boston marathon bombing and the British underground train attacks (Vermesan and Friess, 2016), (Brooks, 2015).


Principal Questions being asked on Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm

Some of the leading research questions evolve around the issue of how vendor locking in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Paradigm can be overcome (Botta et al., 2015), (Roman, Zhou and Lopez, 2013)

Another question in the present research focus is on how developer lock-in can be overcome with regard to the IoT and the Smart city paradigm (Distefano, 2015), (Hui, Sherratt and Sánchez, 2016)

Another research question is how real people needs can be met and how infrastructure for new business cases can be shared for IoT and the Smart City paradigm (Botta et al., 2015), (Hui, Sherratt and Sánchez, 2016)

Questions researchers are asking also include the social and economic benefits of the Smart City, and the implications for security and privacy (Zanella et al., 2014), (Roman, Zhou and Lopez, 2013), (Perera et al., 2013)

Methodologies and methods in use

The present research use qualitative analytical methods in which present trends are evaluated as well as research by other authors. Most of the research being undertaken in the fields of cloud computing entail using case studies, undertaking deductive and analytical research that mainly rely on reviewing literature and findings from other researches. Analytical reviews has been a dominant method for conducting research by present researchers where literature and primary research as well as trends are reviewed; in a few cases, case studies involving primary data collections have been done.



The last century has seen the transformation of the ‘city’ from the industrial city to a service city, to the present modern city. By 2020, half the world population will live in cities creating pressure on resources and infrastructure. A smart city is one with facilities and things that are ‘smart’ and can harmoniously communicate with similar devices and facilities. The communication is possible through the IoT concept where tiny devices can send and receive communication and data, in an interconnected world. The term smart city can be compared to the ‘know-how’ concept following the second world war and was developed into a city planning, management, and social monitoring framework by the City of Los Angeles in the 50s and 60s, culminating in the formation of a community area analysis bureau.

Aerial photography was used in the 70s for better urban planning. The Internet and mobile telephony brought new perspectives, forming the foundations for the IoT smart cities paradigm. Present research has focused on standards and interoperability, legal technicalities, the economic and social benefits of IoTfor smart cities under the context of context specific data, the architecture of the IoT,privacy and security. Research findings have established the wearables, information sharing, security applications, and weather and climate as potent and practical applications of the IoT smart city paradigm already in use. Most researchers undertook qualitative studies involving analytical reviews. Research questions include how vendor and developer lock-in challenges can be solved,  how real people needs can be met, and the social and economic benefits of the Smart City

Future Research Directions

Future research should focus on interoperability of IoT smart city considering there will be many players with different standards, means for faster network communications for devices, managing raw data, and guaranteeing privacy and security of data as well as data storage and how the cloud can be incorporated into it. Research should also focus on artificial intelligence in the backdrop of IoT for smart cities paradigm.



Atzori, L., Iera, A. and Morabito, G. (2010). The Internet of Things: A survey. Journal of Computer Networks, [online] p.2. Available at: [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].

Botta, A., de Donato, W., Persico, v. and Pescape, A. (2015). Integration of Cloud Computing and Internet of Things: a Survey. [online] University of Napoli Federico II (Italy). Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2016].

Distefano, M. (2015). Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things: Service Architectures for Data Analysis and Management. 1st ed. [ebook] Pisa: University Of Pisa Department Of Computer Science, pp.2, 9. Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2016].

Gubbi, J., Buyya, R., Marusic, S. and Palaniswami, M. (2013). Internet of Things (IoT): A vision, architectural elements, and future directions. Future Generation Computer Systems, [online] 29(7), pp.1645-1660. Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].

Hui, T., Sherratt, R. and Sánchez, D. (2016). Major requirements for building Smart Homes in Smart Cities based on Internet of Things technologies. Future Generation Computer Systems.

Hunt, N., O’Hare, G., Wan, J., Rowlands, T., Kroon, B., Muldoon, C. and O ’ Grady, M. (2015). Citizen Science: A Learning Paradigm for the Smart City?. Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal, [online] 1(27), pp.28-43. Available at: [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].

Jin, J., Gubbi, J., Marusic, S. and Palaniswami, M. (2014). An Information Framework for Creating a Smart City Through Internet of Things. IEEE Internet of Things Journal, [online] 1(2), pp.112-121. Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].

Madakam, S. (2015). Internet of Things: Smart Things. International Journal of Future Computer and Communication, 4(4), pp.250-253.

Muhic, I. and Hodzic, M. (2014). Internet of Things: Current Technological Review. Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences (PEN), 2(2), pp.1-7.

Perera, C., Zaslavsky, A., Christen, P. and Georgakopoulos, D. (2014). Context Aware Computing for The Internet of Things: A Survey. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, [online] 16(1), pp.414-454. Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].

Perera, C., Zaslavsky, A., Christen, P. and Georgakopoulos, D. (2013). Sensing as a service model for smart cities supported by Internet of Things. Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies, [online] 25(1), pp.81-93. Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].

Roman, R., Zhou, J. and Lopez, J. (2013). On the features and challenges of security and privacy in distributed internet of things. Computer Networks, [online] 57(10), pp.2266-2279. Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].

Vermesan, O. and Friess, P. (2016). Rive r Publishers Internet of Things – From Research and Innovation to Market Deployment. 1st ed. [ebook] Aalborg: River Publishers, pp.1-3. Available at: [Accessed 19 Dec. 2016].

Vallianatos, M. (2013). Uncovering the Early History of “Big Data” and the “Smart City” in Los Angeles. [online] Boom California. Available at: [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].

Zanella, A., Bui, N., Castellani, A., Vangelista, L. and Zorzi, M. (2014). Internet of Things for Smart Cities. IEEE Internet of Things Journal, [online] 1(1), pp.22-32. Available at: [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].

Ziegeldorf, J., Morchon, O. and Wehrle, K. (2013). Privacy in the Internet of Things: threats and challenges. Security and Communication Networks, 7(12), pp.2728-2742.


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