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3 Big Ideas for the Smart City of 2050

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The world now is a world of the web and the internet. The internet and technological change helps in connecting processes, people, data, and things. The Internet has revolutionized and changed many industries from healthcare to cities to education and more. It has even changed the ways citizens engage with their governments which has further changed their economies. The world is now moving towards building fully functional smart cities and in this article, we will discuss the 3 big ideas for the smart city of 2050.

The 3 big ideas for the smart city of 2050 are as follows-

1. Getting Smarter about Dumb Infrastructure

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Smart cities are making smarter technological changes in conventional things and infrastructure. Like, high-efficiency LEDs are way better than conventional lights. These cities are installing communication and sensors to help them maximize work efficiency. It also helps deliver a new set of urban capabilities.

Over time, connecting city infrastructure such as outdoor light has provided the smartest cities communication fabrics that are now servicing a wide variety of urban needs, from transportation to public safety to parking. The resulting data stream has also helped to improve the investment decisions of the cities. Additionally, it has offered companies with smart cities immense opportunities for tech commercialization. Adding communication and sensor technology to ubiquitous (but ‘dumb’) infrastructures help monitor the following things-

  • Water levels and quality
  • Public safety and lighting
  • Traffic, parking, and people floes
  • Air quality
  • Asset performance and utilization

2. Getting Realtime About Public Transit

This is the 2nd idea out of the 3 big ideas for the smart city of 2050. By 2017, majority of the world’s cities were providing real-time data about public transit which increased ridership. Equipping transits like buses with real-time location ratings has helped in the development of real-time transit applications. Additionally, the onboard communications infrastructure has also opened up new opportunities to add other services like parking infringement management, road-quality monitoring, location-based advertising as a service, etc. All these developments have helped operators, citizens, and governments develop a more advanced understanding of the tools.

The real-time transit data also provides software developers with an opportunity to add route-planning capabilities to their applications. This effect has further led to the development of advanced tools that governments were unwilling or unable to make alone.

Lastly, the communication infrastructures on transit vehicles like buses are also useful in removing costs from other government services. This has opened up new revenue opportunities including mobile WiFi hotspots, real-time and location-based advertising platforms, and mobile public safety cameras.

Also Read: Transforming Detroit into a Smarter City

3. Engaging in Life-Long Learning

It’s quite true that you never stop learning and you can see it with the example of technology. Since 2016, the pace of technological innovation is quite accelerated. Cities around the world are adapting themselves to the changing norms. In these times, technical education institutions are playing a key role in keeping skills current and reskilling displaced workers. Even mature industries are now embracing automation. To remain relevant, even experienced workers are adopting new skills.  The white-collar officials aren’t immune to this weather. In order to remain competitive on the global stage, everyone is learning new things. This is how the 3 big ideas for the smart city of 2050 are doing their work.

Gordon Feller is a consultant at Cisco Systems headquarters in Silicon Valley. He served there, from 2010 to 2015, as Director of Urban Innovations. Feller is also co-founder of Meeting of the Minds, an annual leadership summit organized since 2007.

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