The development of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain or Geospatial Technology is key to the growth of smart cities around the world.
The awareness that these technologies are beneficial for cities is growing and a lot of money is already being invested in these innovations to design smart cities. According to Frost & Sullivan, by 2025, smart cities will generate a business opportunity of over two billion dollars.
Discover the essential technologies for successfully developing smart cities, the role they play and the benefits they bring.
Requirements for Smart City
For a city to be considered a smart city, it must meet certain requirements:
- Efficient and sustainable management of natural resources by all citizens
- All citizens and public institutions must be committed to the end
- Infrastructures and institutions must be technologically prepared to provide them with new solutions and functions to make life easier for all citizens
Internet of Things (IoT)
Research by Zion Market Research reveals that the IoT market for Smart Cities will grow by 22. 6% to $330.1 billion in 2025.
Municipal administrations are increasingly aware of the advantages of a smart city and are starting to invest in this sector. Thanks to the IoT they can collect data through sensors, connected devices and intelligent networks to analyze the data and obtain valuable information to improve urban services, sustainability, safety, mobility and transparency of the city.
IoT is acting in the cities, mainly, in three areas: transport and urban mobility, energy and urban maintenance.
In transport and urban mobility, it provides information on traffic and parking places to facilitate citizens’; mobility and to help them find a place to park their private vehicle.
In energy, cities save money on their electricity bills and increase energy efficiency by connecting, for example, street lights to an intelligent network that allows them to adapt their lighting to the needs of the moment.
In urban maintenance, administrations can improve the state of the city with an exhaustive control of urban furniture and waste management.
IoT technology is closely related to Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI brings many advantages to smart cities and is being implemented more frequently in these types of cities.
ABI Research predicts that AI measurement and monitoring will be the big players in the IoT market for smart cities in the next few years. In this regard, it is expected that by 2026, 87% of all IoT device connections for smart cities will be powered by smart metering devices for public gas, water and energy supplies and AI-enhanced monitoring devices.
Preventive maintenance is one of the main functions of this technology and one of the most important benefits. Thanks to AI, municipalities can detect water leaks and prevent incidents more quickly so that they can be solved in less time.
Traffic management and improving the safety of citizens on the roads is another function of AI in smart cities. In addition, more and more AI-powered security cameras are being used that go beyond video surveillance functions. They are cameras capable of detecting the vehicle’s license plate to control access to the city and prevent polluting cars from entering.
For all these advantages, AI is key to the development of smart cities. As well as other technologies such as Blockchain.
Blockchain technology has come to revolutionize the world and more and more cities are betting on it.
The Blockchain4Cities study points out that the blockchain would be the technology that would allow cities to overcome the great challenges they face today: participation, transparency, sustainability, competitiveness, corruption and fraud. For this, the promoters of this research believe that a safe, transparent and immutable system like Blockchain is necessary.
This is undoubtedly a technology with great growth potential. The market research company Transparency Market Research estimates that the value of this technology will exceed 16 billion euros ($20 billion) in 2024 globally.
A technology that is very useful in urban services and in improving urban governance. These are services that involve many different processes, demanding a high frequency of records and documentation, so transparency and security are essential. With Blockchain you will be able to provide a neutral, accessible and secure information base to prevent corruption and establish the necessary transparency in public administration.
One example of the application of Blockchain technology in governance is found in Estonia. One of the most striking initiatives that the Estonian public administration has promoted through this technology is e-Residency, a kind of digital ID that allows you to establish an identity or register a company in Estonia from anywhere in the world. Thanks to this proposal, Estonia has maximised efficiency and minimised bureaucracy.
This is just a sample of the potential that Blockchain has in smart cities. A key technology for its development, such as Geospatial technology.
The research firm, Grand View Research, predicts that by 2025 the geospatial technologies market will reach a turnover of $134. 48 billion.
The world is aware of the importance of investing in this technology and more and more public administrations are implementing it in their cities for all the benefits it brings.
Smart cities use Geospatial technology to make urban environments more accessible and environmentally friendly or to detect disasters that affect the ecosystem. Depending on the needs of citizens, this technology reacts to their demand by offering solutions in transport, power plants, water supply networks, civil protection or public centres, among others.
Geospatial information management and climate and environmental monitoring in cities enables the detection of changes in the environment, improves prevention, speeds up the response to climate disasters and extreme natural phenomena and improves decision-making.
In this sense, this technology makes it easier for public administrations to make better decisions in the environmental management of their cities in order to build municipalities more committed to the natural environment.