What is a connected city or Smart City ?

The smart city is an original urban development concept that makes the life of city dwellers more pleasant and the management of territories more efficient thanks to technology. But what exactly is a smart city? How does it work and how is it connected? Here are some explanations.

Smart city, the city at the service of its inhabitants

Smart city, connected city, sustainable city… these innovative concepts have been around for about ten years but we know little about them. Yet they meet the aspirations of many French people who are looking for meaning in their daily lives: being more involved in the community, saving resources, communicating simply, using efficient public services…
Public authorities are often perceived as immovable systems, not very agile in their mode of operation and in the answers they provide to citizens. A deaf and blind system, in which today’s citizens have difficulty making their needs heard and sharing their ideas.

In a smart city, or a smart territory outside the metropolis, it is the opposite. City services use digital tools to exchange with residents and improve their operational efficiency in managing infrastructures: transportation, urban planning, health, environment, etc. It’s the city 3.0 at the service of its residents.

How does a connected city work?

The objective of a smart city is to make the city a sustainable space in several ways:

  • Offer a better quality of life through active paticipation of citizens,
  • develop envrionmental initiatives based on sustainable urban planning, intelligent resource management and the growth of the local economy,
  • Improving public services, especially by making administration efficient and urban transport effective.

To achieve this, communities rely on technology, such as applications to exchange open data with citizens, and artificial intelligence to improve infrastructure and provide an agile response to residents’ needs. In this sense, the smart city is also a connected city.

More collaborative, more agile, the smart city is also more ecological and more efficient. Let’s not forget that smart also means astute, clever; the smart city therefore skillfully combines the advantages of technology with collective intelligence for a better quality of life and service.

Smart cities and their concrete applications

A smart city is in a way the proximity of yesterday (exchanging on the village square) with the technology of today (the Internet of Things) to build the life of tomorrow (ecological and pleasant spaces to live).

However, there is no single mode of action. Each smart city develops its vision of the ideal smart city and chooses the technology to get there: citizen reporting apps, connected services to promote local commerce, sensors to improve waste collection…

Lyon relies on passive construction and smart grids to adjust electricity supply. Nantes uses open data and an app dedicated to mobility (real-time traffic, incidents on public roads, etc.). Dijon centralizes the management of urban equipment (traffic lights, video protection, etc.) and saves money with LED lighting. And for you, what is the ideal smart city?