There has been a lot of talk recently on Smart Cities and the promises it holds. There are quite a few Smart technologies that define a Smart Cities – some are closer to reality today than others. And many city councils all over the world are taking a serious look at implementing smart cities. Smart cities is incomplete without first defining what a smart home should look like. The central beneficiary in this interconnection of smart systems should be the citizens. However, talk of Smart cities should go hand-in-hand with the concept of Sustainable Cities – that is apart from making life easier for citizens, a key goal of smart cities should be create an environment that reduces the load on the earth’s resources.
Starting from lighting fixtures that turn on and off depending on if someone is in the room or depending on the light conditions, to relatively complex monitoring systems such as the washer/dryer that regulate water usage or the refrigerators that automatically maintain set their temperatures based on ambient conditions – there a variety of simple systems in the home that contribute towards creating a sustainable environment by reducing energy usage.
On the road, intelligent or smart parking systems, traffic systems help driver to plan and avoid congested roads and idle time in traffic so that fuel usage is optimised.
It is important for city councils and governments to have a clear plan and strategy in place to achieve this vision. One of the key requirements for the success of the smart cities concept is the partnership between private and government agencies as the evolvement of smart cities needs both a technological and policy boost to succeed.