Cities are increasingly under pressure from two directions: population growth and rapid technological change. The United Nations (UN) predicts that 66 per cent of the 9.7 billion people on the planet will be living in cities by 2050. This change will add 2.5 billion more people to the urban population, who will also consume more energy, water and other resources. How will our cities be able to meet the demand of the earth’s growing population?
With the rise of the internet of things (IoT), automation, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), public and private sectors are in the best position to take the opportunity and develop the smart use of integrated systems and technology so that our future cities to become highly functioning, liveable, and sustainable – or in short, smart.
Smart cities are defined as cities that use integrated processes, smart engineering or creative design to self-regulate its environment and operations.
Using smart technologies that are connected through the Internet of Things (IoT), a smart city uses sensors to analyse its environment and automatically modify its operations to provide for users in that environment. It can make its own decisions and respond to changes in the environment without human intervention.
According to the UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), successful intelligent cities effectively integrate the “physical, digital, and human systems in the built environment” to help urban areas thrive socially, economically, and environmentally. They are typified by having: