Smart city: comfort, safety, affordability, and environmental friendliness
Urbanization and urban population growth, lack of water and food, a threat of terrorism, climate change, ecological problems, and natural resources depletion… These acute problems are to be solved. That is why such countries as the U.S., Japan, Switzerland, Australia, and others fulfill smart city projects using cutting-edge technological solutions.
The smart city concept is multi-faceted comprising and centralizing multiple aspects: from its inhabitants’ comfort to resources restoration and ecological balance. Let’s take a look at the examples.
Smart home as a smart city base
A smart city is an extended smart home version with all appliances and devices connected to the Web. They work within one structure and are controlled by a user. One can arrange all of them to his or her personal preference and give a command. Thus, all the processes are maximally automated.
There is no need for a huge amount of appliances and gadgets: switches, remote controls, control units, and a lot more. Having a single remote control and Internet connection, you will be able to adjust all the systems as you like. For example, lights turn on as you enter a room, brightness can be controlled.
What is more, a smart home guarantees safety. Water and gas leakage, fumigation, combustion – you will immediately be informed. Movement sensors will timely detect and record a thief by means of surveillance cameras. In case of any threatening situation, the system will inform not only you but a related service: healthcare, repair, fire, police.
There are various ways of smart home management. First, special controls with buttons connected to each device or action. Second, sensor panels that provide video records. However, PCs and smartphones with Internet connection are the most reasonable and simplest way.
Reshaping urban infrastructure
How to make urban population’s life more comfortable and safer? Here is the answer: create smart cities. So, every sphere has to be modernized.
Intellectual management system. Monitoring city’s large infrastructure is a difficult task. Digitalization appeared to be a way-out since it led to the transformation of all structures and mechanisms. In 2010, Rio Intelligent Operations Center was established combining the work of more than 30 municipal departments.
Such centers are a so-called brain of smart cities. They monitor the city life 24/7 and provide local services with accurate and up-to-date information about various situations. AI analyzes a huge data flow, simulates events, predicts their outcomes, and offers solutions.
Utilities are also monitored by a single intellectual system.
The Swedish research firm Berg Insigh claimed that in 2017, the volume of smart sensors delivery in Europe alone surged over 23 m devices. They collect meter readings and remotely pass them to gas, heat and power suppliers. Besides, these devices allow to reduce losses and resources overspend. Russian companies Strizhand Sovremennye Radio Tehnologii manufacture such devices.
Outdoor light modernization would as well allow to save money on electricity. What is more, more ecologically friendly bulbs are used nowadays. Lanterns with LEDs are built in movement sensors so that lights turn on when needed.
Not only are land-based utility systems being improved, but also underground and water. Smart water supply concurrently controls several aspects: septic tanks, pumps, leakage, and temperature. Russia is now running ‘Digital water utility’ project.
Government’s interaction with citizens. Information and communication technologies help state departments establish a contact with the population. It’s not necessary today to waste time in a queue or make an appointment with a doctor. Instead, people can use special online portals such as gosuslugi.ru. They allow parents to enroll a child into a kindergarten or a school, book a wedding date or file for divorce, order a foreign passport, pay a fine, file a tax return, get various types of consultations, and a lot more.
Safety and public order. A smart city is constantly monitored by means of surveillance cameras that work within an analytical subsystem of safety control. It immediately informs law-enforcement bodies about any violations. Such subsystems can also recognize faces and plates, find lost things, which promotes anti-terrorist activity.
The Russian company AxxonSoft is one of the developers of safety systems and surveillance cameras.
Transport and traffic. Following Japan, many countries are moving to traffic adaptive control. Sensors of smart traffic lights analyze situations in a traffic network and relieve roads if needed. For this, a green wave is established. By the way, Singaporean traffic is completely controlled by AI.
Some countries take care of ecology in terms of transport. In abovementioned Japan, Fujisawa, there were established several power stations for electric cars, electric scooters, and electric bicycles widely accepted by the locals and initiated by the government. An automated mobility service appeared in the city. It considers applications for transport, duration of the order, time of day, and a route. Then, the system decides on an ultimate transport service.
A smart city is a city of the future. It uses emerging technologies that make our life safer and more comfortable. Some services get automated, which raises their effectiveness. Smart city projects are currently being introduced in Europe, Asia, and both Americas. Russia joined the trend in 2014. That is a reason for us to hold out the hope that the future infrastructure of our country will become more technological, ecological and energy-efficient.