The smart city is a concept for improving the territory that relies on different technologies to offer a more pleasant living environment to the inhabitants, and that makes the management of public services more economical and ecological. But what are these technologies that are essential to the development of a connected city?
The role of technology in a smart city
Today, cities are facing several social challenges. They must control their energy consumption for both economic and ecological reasons, and optimize the way they operate in key sectors (transportation, health, security, etc.). All this while regularly informing citizens. A real challenge.
The smart city is a way to meet these challenges, and to achieve this, it uses different technologies such as IoT and connected networks to :
- Collect and analyze data in real time: these data allow us to assess the situation and to cross-reference large quantities of information in order to make the right decisions.
- Implement new tools or develop existing systems to act effectively and quickly.
For waste management, for example, intelligent sensors measure the number of garbage cans filled to organize their collection, artificial intelligence optimizes the next rounds, and an application shares a sorting guide with users. Thanks to these different technologies, the connected city meets the needs of citizens and improves their comfort.
Technologies to build the smart city of tomorrow
Among the technologies that are helping cities become more liveable and environmentally friendly, the Internet of Things (IoT) is fundamental.
In short, sensors collect data that is transmitted to a platform via a dense mesh of connected objects. The IoT uses long-range networks (5G, fiber, LPWA, LoRa…) for real-time data transmission. Once interpreted, the data can be used, for example, to adapt the city’s water or electricity consumption.
To facilitate the processing of the massive amount of information, artificial intelligence (AI) complements the IoT. It analyzes complex data while applying corrective measures autonomously according to the results. It is a particularly effective technology in traffic light management and traffic control.
Geospatial technologies also play an important role in a smart city. They collect GPS, weather and topographic data to determine the needs and constraints of a specific location, whether static or dynamic. In the long term, they can be used to develop intelligent solutions that anticipate pollution peaks and climatic phenomena, the creation of new neighborhoods or the installation of wind turbines.
Finally, there is no smart city without information and communication technologies. They are a bridge between the population and the city, a means of accessing open data and participating in the life of the city. This includes practical apps that provide information on traffic, air quality, local merchants, heritage, etc., as well as citizen reporting applications. All of these technologies must also integrate data encryption solutions to prevent piracy, for an experience that is as effective as it is secure for the citizens of connected cities.