Welcome to Midwest Smart City Solutions

Smart City Technology

Understanding the World of Smart City Technology

The rise of smart city technology has created opportunities for improving infrastructures through monitoring analytics. The combination of AI, wireless broadband, the cloud, and smart sensors allows for a powerful infrastructure that can integrate with automated energy-saving solutions. The internet of things (IoT) is the driving force behind smart cities.

What Defines a Smart City?

A smart city is a municipality that collects a high volume of data and uses it for improving operational efficiency. The local government uses information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve efficiency in its operations. A smart city also shares useful information with the public based on its data collection. A smart city infrastructure allows for simplified management of urban planning, traffic control, and public utilities. 

Smart City Sensors

Smart cities are built on interconnected IoT devices that communicate with the cloud in real-time. They also include software solutions, user interfaces (UI) and communication networks. The key to IoT technology is that it's a network of connected devices that can instantly exchange data. Smart cities are dependent on broadband connectivity and IoT technology. A major application of this technology is traffic monitoring, in which data can be used to warn drivers of congested areas or road closures. 

What a Smart City Offers

Any part of city management can be transformed into a smart city project.

  • Smart parking meters help drivers save time finding available parking spaces.
  • Transportation officials can implement smart traffic management to monitor and analyze traffic. This analysis will help reduce congestion using time of day or rush-hour schedules. The data can also be used to make greater efficiency decisions on the type of streetlights.
  • Two of the most essential focuses of smart city technology are efficiency and conservation. Smart sensors can activate the dimming of streetlights when there are no pedestrians or motorists present.
  • Smart city initiatives include monitoring environmental data. Issues such as climate change, air pollution and waste management can be addressed and improved.
  • Smart city technology improves public safety by monitoring physical areas and alerting security when suspicious activity occurs. Using a system of sensors helps prepare for emergencies. Smart sensors can alert personnel of the potential for droughts, floods, and hurricanes.
  • Legacy infrastructure can be retrofitted to construct smart buildings with sensors. The system allows for real-time space management with the ability to monitor the building's structural condition.
  • These modern technologies make urban manufacturing and urban farming more efficient. These systems enhance job creation, provide energy efficiency and improve space management.

Characteristics of Successful Smart Cities

  1. Collection - data is collected in the most efficient way possible.
  2. Analysis - managers learn about weaknesses through studying analytics generated from data collection.
  3. Communication - team players have the ability to communicate data with each other in real-time.
  4. Action - managers can use analysis to make more informed decisions quickly to improve the business.

Additionally, a smart city must establish a close relationship between government and the private sector.

Smart City Framework

As smart cities begin appearing far and near, it's important that each one develops a "smart city framework." This framework helps simplify the technology so that city leaders do not have to take intensive training to operate within it.

Vision and Planning

Every smart city is unique in its own way, so prior to debating the issue of expanding smart meters everywhere, it helps to envision what adding IoT technology means to a particular city. The region's existing infrastructure plays a big role in the conversion. The city should first map out its specific goals beyond just "getting connected." The plan should include a time frame for deployment.

Ecosystem Considerations

While the general goal should be to make cities smarter, local leaders should figure out how new technology fits into the current environmental and governmental ecosystem. Building a smarter ecosystem means working with partners in the private, public, government, academic and nonprofit sectors. Coordinating communication with these multiple sources is key to making a smooth transition.

Smart Governance

One of the fundamental principles to make smart cities work is to define governance clearly. This means that local business leaders and government officials at all levels must work together with a common vision. There should be open discussions with stakeholders on decisions and planning. All players should be held accountable for their actions and should focus on meeting deadlines.

Technology Planning

Each smart city will require its own blueprints for building architecture on top of infrastructure. That means each city must decide on specific types of IoT technology and data systems, although all cities should conform to the latest cybersecurity standards.

Funding Options

At the foundation of any city project is funding, which determines how wide of a scale the technology covers. Each city can draw from its traditional funding methods, such as local taxes and municipal bonds. At the same time, cities should look beyond traditional funding models and consider newer alternatives such as crowdfunding.

Importance of Smart Cities

Cities with expanding populations need to consider technology that improves infrastructure efficiencies. Smart city technology allows for local governments to make improvements through analyzing real-time data. This technology is becoming the key for cities to improve the quality of life for residents.