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The Theme of EITA Smart Cities Forum

(San Francisco, California, U.S.A. - Jeffrey M. Wang)

Smart Cities - Driving A New Digital Economy



1. Overview

-- The Rapid Urbanization of the Globe: Unprecedented Challenges

"We live in a world experiencing economic turmoil, climate change, aging populations, and rapid urbanization. But we also live in the midst of tremendous technological innovations that have the potential to address the issues that challenge every city." -- (CISCO)  

Urbanization is changing our planet. Today, about half the world’s seven billion people live in cities. By 2050, that proportion is expected to rise to two-thirds. And because the global population is increasing, by then, more than six billion people will live in cities. Urban living places significant burdens on the environment. Cities need to be fed with water, power, and food, and so require the complex infrastructures that make that possible. All this needs to be done in a way that is sustainable.

Being such huge magnets for talent and investment, it is no wonder that cities have become the world’s major growth engine, generating more than 80% of the global GDP. Smart cities are cites where everything is connected to each other and this is highly depended on technologies. Technological literacy is a key to turn a city into smart city which is well connected, sustainable and resilient, where information is not just available but also findable. 

However, the speed and scale of urbanization brings tremendous challenges. Widening income gaps, worsening pollution, and aging buildings and bridges are all telltale signs that today’s cities are struggling to keep up with city dwellers’ growing dreams for a sustainable, prosperous future.

-- Achieving Sustainable Urbanization

"Achieving sustainable urbanization, together with the preservation of our planet’s fragile ecosystem, is recognized as one of the major challenges for humanity in the coming decades. Cities are responsible for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and they are accountable for 60-80% of global energy consumption, contributing to environmental degradation locally, regionally and globally. These percentages are expected to rise with the growing population rates in terms of migration and increasing birth rates." -- (ITU-T)  

The process of urbanization has become so important that it has become a catalyst in the transformation of major cities to smart cities. More specifically, these cities are planning to evolve from rather passive cities into smart cities. The umbrella term of a smart city, is a city that uses data and technologies to improve the lives of the citizens and businesses that inhabit it. 

-- Smart Cities: A Low Carbon Environment, High Quality of Living, and Resource Efficient Economy

Cities around the world are currently under quick transition towards a low carbon environment, high quality of living, and resource efficient economy. We need to make our cities more efficient and safe with smart technology that gives us information about the environment and what’s going on in it. Nowadays, smart cities are considered as an effective way to support the economic growth, while controlling climatic changes and adapting novel technologies to improve the quality of life of urban citizens. 

-- Role of Technology in Smart City

A smart city is a blend of infrastructure and technology playing their respective roles in creating a clean and energy efficient place with quick and easy access to services and digitization of information. The smart city typically uses the ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) to create a two-way communication network between the citizens and government. The ICT helps the government analyzing the demand pattern of the state and thus creating a pool of resources to address the same online. The electronic medium of communication in a community helps in creating a collective intelligence which can be deployed for resource optimization with the help of analytics and deep learning.

2. The Rise of the Smart City

-- Exponential Growth of World Population

In the last 50 years, world population has grown exponentially at an average rate of 1.2% per year. In 2019, the global population was 7.7 billion (Worldometers). The world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to an United Nations report being launched in June, 2017. With roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline.

By 2050, it is expected that approximately 70% of the world's population (9.8 billion people) will be living in urban areas. Each year, the percentage of people over the age of 60 increases. By 2050, the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to triple and will outnumber children under 15 for the first time in human history. 

-- From Smart City To Future City

"Cities in the 21st century will account for nearly 90% of global population growth, 80% of wealth creation, and 60% of total energy consumption." -- (MIT) Growing cities face many challenges, longer commutes, higher rents. fewer opportunities.

Trying to manage the rapid expansion of cities and metropolitan regions presents challenges for governments, businesses and policymakers as they look for new ways to support the needs and safety of the people, develop sustainable infrastructures, enable economic growth and stability. The cities that will flourish the most are those that rely on cutting-edge technologies and create opportunities for people to develop new ones. 

With more and more of people living in cities, urbanization is creating significant opportunities for social and economic development and more sustainable living. But it’s also exerting significant pressure on infrastructure and resources and potentially opening the door to escalating social inequality.

-- What Makes a 21st Century City Smart?

What makes a city “smart?” While there is no single definition of a smart city, most agree that smart cities should integrate information and communication technologies (ICTs) into their municipal infrastructure to improve the efficiency and performance of municipal services while reducing waste, pollution, and resource consumption. In essence, they use connected systems and programs to keep the city moving and working effectively.

The foundation for the smart city of the future will be the collective intelligence it can harness. That means having the ability to intelligently connect people, things, and businesses. 

A 21st century smart city uses digital technology to promote three core values:

  • Livability: to promote performance and well-being and increase its ability to respond to city-wide and global challenges. With a digital infrastructure that makes city services instantly and conveniently available anytime, anywhere. 
  • Workability: to bring together people, processes, and technology to enable a holistic customized approach that accounts for their city culture, long-term planning, and citizen needs. Cities that provide the enabling infrastructure - energy, connectivity, computing, essential services - to compete globally for high-quality jobs. 
  • Sustainability: to ensure its critical infrastructure is safe and economically sustainable and public service offers are more interactive, transparent, and responsive. Cities that provide services without stealing from future generations.

3. Smart Cities and the Future of Urban Housing

It is a global imperative to develop systems that improve the livability of cities while dramatically reducing resource consumption. Making cities resilient against disease outbreaks, man-made crises, and natural disasters is the key to the 21st century. 

--Smart Cities and Comfortable Living

Why are we experiencing rapid urbanization? The bottom line for most people who move to urban areas and larger cities comes down to better job prospects and bigger networking opportunities. By 2050, it is expected that approximately 70% of the world's population (9.8 billion people) will be living in urban areas. In the United States, most major cities are experiencing housing shortages. Because of the growing urban population, disparity between supply and demand, and higher cost of living, developers and urban planners have had to reassess what it means for the future of cities and the concept of comfortable living. 

Housing demands and other financial burdens have caused housing prices to skyrocket beyond the reach of younger people, who are at the age where baby boomers were once able to afford a standard home. In addition, living preferences and priorities for younger people are worlds apart from their parents’ generation. Apartment units, condominiums, and mixed-use spaces that have a wide range of amenities (such as a gym and a pool, proximity to public transit and commercial areas) are highly desired among urban residents looking to buy or rent property. These factors have contributed to the development of new housing trends and urban planning priorities.

-- New Construction Methods and Flexible Building Designs

With the majority of urban residents favoring interconnectedness and innovative urban spaces, initiatives around smart cities involve higher density housing capacities, more public transit and environmentally sustainable energy systems. New construction methods and flexible building designs enable radical mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods that reduce the cost of housing and retail space.

Smart communities use data and technology to help drive efficiencies, improve sustainability, spur economic development, and enhance the quality of life for their citizens. While each community may have different reasons for wanting to be smart, all smart communities share common attributes - and they all are powered by smart connections and by
smarter energy infrastructure.

-- Smart Buildings: Forming The Foundation of Smart Cities

Consider how electricity and power work in a smart city scenario: Grids manage distribution through the constant monitoring of supply and demand data. Working along with smart buildings, smart grids can connect to structures that learn occupants’ energy needs, respond to changing weather conditions and automatically adjust themselves to maximize efficiency. Approximately 30% of global GHG emissions and 70% of energy consumption in major cities are attributable to buildings. The data collected and insights generated by smart building technologies can lead to changes in facilities management that reduce energy consumption for climate and sustainability goals and help improve public health and safety. Thus, buildings can play a pivotal role in helping to achieve smart city goals. Smart buildings can reduce the carbon footprint.

Buildings leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are becoming another element in the complex network of the smart city. In most cases, the various systems of a building - fire protection, ventilation and climate control, lighting and video surveillance - do their jobs separately. But in a smart building, these systems feed into a central control and talk to each other via Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. Smart buildings generate lots of data - which is itself an asset because it documents in fine detail how the building has performed and where the greatest gains have been achieved. Applied to machine learning technology, such data can also provide a foundation for even stronger building performance: What gets measured can ultimately be streamlined, fixed or improved upon.

-- The Emerging Role for Smart Homes in the Smart City

Smart homes will benefit from the IoT to improve energy efficiency, security and convenience thanks to the introduction of intelligent, connected devices. Smart home technology use devices connected to the IoT to automate and monitor in-home systems. Smart home technology allows users to control and monitor their connected home devices from smart home apps, smartphones, or other networked devices. Users can remotely control connected home systems whether they are home or away. This allows for more efficient energy and electric use as well as ensuring your home is secure. 

Smart home technology contributes to health and well-being enhancement by accommodating people with special needs, especially older people. Once homes and living communities are more connected, they can plug in to larger smart city programs.

4. Urban Computing and Fully Digitizing Smart Cities

The goal of building a smart city is to improve quality of life by using urban informatics and technology to improve the efficiency of services and meet residents’ needs.

-- Urban Computing and Well-being in Smart Cities

Urbanization’s rapid progress has modernized many people’s lives but also engendered big issues, such as traffic congestion, energy consumption, and pollution. Urban computing aims to tackle these issues by using the data that has been generated in cities (e.g., traffic flow, human mobility, and geographical data). Urban computing connects urban sensing, data management, data analytics, and service providing into a recurrent process for an unobtrusive and continuous improvement of people’s lives, city operation systems, and the environment. Urban computing is an interdisciplinary field where computer sciences meet conventional city-related fields, like transportation, civil engineering, environment, economy, ecology, and sociology in the context of urban spaces.

Cities have always been hubs of technological experimentation, shaped by the people who inhabit them and the tools they use. A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets – the city’s assets include, but are not limited to, local departments' information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services. Urban performance depends not only on the city's endowment of hard infrastructure, but also on the availability and quality of knowledge communication and social infrastructure.  

-- Software Platforms for Smart Cities

To make a city smarter, it is desirable to integrate services and applications in a unified technological infrastructure. A sensible way to make the above reality is with a well-designed software platform providing the necessary infrastructure for dealing with large volumes of data, a wide variety of devices and applications, system interoperability, and other problems related to smart city environments. 

A software platform for smart cities can be defined as “an integrated middleware environment that supports software developers in designing, implementing, deploying, and managing applications for smart cities.” Many challenging issues still need to be addressed before a highly effective software platform for smart cities can be created, including: enabling interoperability between a city’s multiple systems, guaranteeing citizens’ privacy, managing large amounts of data, supporting the required scalability, and dealing with a large variety of sensors.

The digital software platform of the smart cities utilizes AI, IoT, big data, a geographic information system, video, cloud, converged communications, security capabilities. it could be used across smart public safety, environmental protection, transportation, government, education, and agriculture.

The four most common enabling technologies used in state-of-the-art software platforms for smart cities: cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, big data, and cloud computing.

-- Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future

Smart cities are a future reality for municipalities around the world. They are creative, innovative, conceptual, and city-wide technology-human-infrastructure integration platforms. The next wave of real-time technologies that will define the next decade are software (rather than hardware) upgrades to the city that will nonetheless transform the way we work, play and live in our physical environments - our cities. "Today, academic research and industrial applications in the area of smart cities seek to optimize existing city infrastructure, networks, and urban behavior through the deployment and utilization of digital networks. Cities that employ optimization techniques have reported improvements in energy efficiency, water use, public safety, road congestion, and many other areas." -- (MIT) 

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the capacity to enable processes of urban transformation, by helping cities become smarter and more sustainable. These cities will use the power of smart computing, ubiquitous communication networks, highly distributed wireless sensor technology, Internet of Things, cloud computing, security and privacy, social computing, cognitive computing, cyber-physical systems, virtual reality, big data analytics, video analytics with intelligent computer vision, intelligent management systems, etc. to solve current and future challenges and create exciting new services. Especially, "Artificial intelligence (AI) has already transformed our lives - from the autonomous cars on the roads to the robotic vacuums and smart thermostats in our homes.  Over the next 15 years, AI technologies will continue to make inroads in nearly every aspect of our lives, from education to entertainment, healthcare to security." -- (Harvard University) 

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology and Big Data are Building Smarter Cities

A smart city consists of a smart transportation system, smart agriculture, smart energy, smart government etc. Everything in a smart city is equipped with sensors and devices that collect a bulk of data on a daily basis. 

-- Big Data in Smart Cities

At the heart of the smart city is the ability to connect the dots between ICT and basic services, and to innovate in using technology to deliver better services to citizens. The innovative use of data helps provide better and more inventive services to improve people’s lives and make the entire city run more smoothly. 

The first step in a city becoming a smart city is collecting more and better data. If an organization doesn’t start with good data, trying to make predictions about how new government policies will work can end up deeply flawed or even counterproductive. Helping cities gather and process data is one place AI is currently being put to use. 

Smart city technologies integrate and analyze massive amounts of data to anticipate, mitigate, and even prevent many problems. There are millions of devices already deployed in cities, and billions more coming, that can make a city smarter by collecting data on traffic, weather, energy, and water usage, and much more, often in real-time. That data can be analyzed and the resulting knowledge put to work to understand what’s happening now and predict what will happen in the future. 

-- How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can Make Cities Smarter

Data is the lifeblood of the modern city. Today, it’s being captured by more than 500 million sensors worldwide, and that number is growing exponentially. Video represents one of the richest sensors used, generating massive streams of data that need analysis. AI is the key to turning this information into insight. It’s transforming how we capture, inspect, and analyze data to impact everything from traffic and parking management to law enforcement and city services.

There are three major categories of applications how governments and companies are using AI right now in cities: helping government officials learn more about how people use cities, improving infrastructure and optimizing the use of these resources, and improving public safety in cities. 

For example, monitoring traffic patterns might alert city planners of the future need for a widened lane or new traffic light. Knowing this information well in advance will allow cities to contract with construction firms in plenty of time with detailed information on where new traffic implementations will be most effective. Potential advancements include the areas of management of water, energy, energy efficiency, smarter healthcare, solid waste, public safety, public transport, traffic and congestion, smart parking, growth of ICT infrastructure and its environmental impacts, vertical farming (urban farming), air quality monitoring, etc.. ICT is the central nervous system of smart cities. 

6. Smart City and Industry 4.0

The digital revolution has brought with it a new way of thinking about manufacturing and operations. Connected automation in manufacturing leads to a faster and more flexible production process, greater efficiency of material, and reduction of complexity and downtime. The power of Industry 4.0 is now becoming real - connecting industry to the real potential for the smart factory. 

-- Open Standards

Open standards are crucial. Industry 4.0 solutions are highly dependent on connectivity - technically as well as organizationally within the entire value creation process connecting suppliers and manufacturers. Open source hardware, software and hybrid solutions are driving Industry 4.0. Manufacturers are using open source hardware and open source software technologies to improve interoperability, drive innovation, and cut costs. 

Industry 4.0 marks the “beginning of the end” for proprietary interfaces. Only with open cooperation and the exchange of ideas and solution approaches will Industry 4.0 concepts find their way to/into practical solutions. 

-- Digital Manufacturing

Emerging challenges associated with logistics and energy costs are influencing global production and associated distribution decisions. Significant advances in technology, including big data and analytics, AI, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and additive manufacturing, are shifting the capabilities and value proposition of global manufacturing. In response, manufacturing and operations require a digital renovation: the value chain must be redesigned and retooled and the workforce retrained. Total delivered cost must be analyzed to determine the best places to locate sources of supply, manufacturing and assembly operations around the world. In other words we need a digital transformation. 

Industry 4.0 technologies like IoT, robotization and 3D printing let manufacturers digitize and optimize the production process and even go further, offering services such as predictive maintenance. New (digital) manufacturing technologies are a crucial development for the entire manufacturing industry.

-- IIoT and Smart Factory

The smart factory  - responsive, adaptive, connected manufacturing, represents a leap forward from more traditional automation to a fully connected and flexible system - one that can use a constant stream of data from connected operations and production systems to learn and adapt to new demands.

The “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT), more commonly known as the Industrial Internet, refers to the network of industrial devices connected to the Internet. These devices use sensors and embedded software to collect, share, and analyze data. It is a combination of cyber-physical systems, IIoT devices, and cloud computing, all of which are combined to help make industrial processes smarter. 

IIoT technologies allow machines to communicate autonomously with other machines, enabling them to identify trends and actionable insights from historical and real-time data. This allows factories, energy providers, and other industrial ventures to become increasingly automated as unmanned plants. Machine production is networked into a self-learning system using cutting-edge communication technology – resulting in a smart factory. The foundation for this modern industrial revolution is the Internet of Things (IoT), which enables continuous data exchange between all participating units – from the production robot to inventory management to the microchip. This connects all production and logistics processes together, making our industry more intelligent, efficient and sustainable. Following nine pillars of technological advancement underpin Industry 4.0: Big Data and Analytics, Autonomous Robots, Simulation, Horizontal and Vertical System Integration, the Industrial Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, the Cloud, Additive Manufacturing, and Augmented Reality. 

-- Industry 4.0 As A Part of Smart Cities 

The Internet of Things (IoT) shall be used for the development of so–called smart products. Sub-components of the product are equipped with their own intelligence. Added intelligence is used both during the manufacturing of a product as well as during subsequent handling, up to continuous monitoring of the product life cycle (smart processes). Other important aspects of the Industry 4.0 are Internet of Services (IoS), which includes especially intelligent transport and logistics (smart mobility, smart logistics), as well as Internet of Energy (IoE), which determines how the natural resources are used in proper way (electricity, water, oil, etc.). IoT, IoS, Internet of People (IoP) and IoE can be considered as an element that can create a connection of the smart city initiative and Industry 4.0 – Industry 4.0 can be seen as a part of smart cities.  

Linking information from process-based Industry 4.0 with intelligent transport systems of the smart city could create very effective, demand-oriented and higher productivity of manufacturing enterprises as well as sustainable development of society.

7. Enabling Smart Cities with a Smart ICT Infrastructure

-- ICT: The Fundamental Enabler for Smart Cities

Tremendous breakthroughs in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have sent optimism skyrocketing regarding the ability of technology to utterly transform synchronous cities. In an unprecedented crescendo of optimism, analysts have predicted that the “information age” will empower people to reinvent their cities and establish the long anticipated post-industrial economy. Thus, many cities around the world are showing a quasi-religious devotion to technological advancement, so as to achieve sustainable economic development, address environmental concerns and enhance the quality of life. 

Our future is a world of connected devices. That means enormous needs for infrastructure, speed and support. As envisioned, the connected world uses a combination of hardware, software, data and services to connect all of our devices, appliances and equipment allowing them to operate together. The applications are nearly limitless including smart grids, homes, cities, transportation networks, healthcare devices, automobiles and many services and ideas not yet conceived.

-- Using ICT to Make Smart Cities Smart

The right ICT infrastructure will affect the way each city will be created and evolve. And it will enable smart cities to include vastly enhanced sustainable areas. Ultra-broadband, cloud and M2M applications provide innovative and cost-effective ways to manage millions of devices that enrich the lives of citizens and attract businesses. For example, sensors around the cities will detect the amount of garbage in cans to help sanitation workers maximize efficiency, while simultaneously monitoring devices to identify leaks or changes in water pressure in waterways. Solar panels will monitor how much energy they’re providing and let workers know when they need maintenance. Smart buildings are capable of detecting fires in the areas around them and automatically placing a call to the fire department in the event of an emergency. Cameras and drones can monitor activity in remote areas not frequented by police or law enforcement.

-- Key Elements When Building Smart Cities

What makes smart cities successful? There are many factors, but there are 10 key elements that define a smart city: smart economy, smart living, smart governance, smart building, smart healthcare, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart energy and smart citizens. All of which can be provided by prudent applications of ICT. These 10 critical elements need to be in any smart city plans.

8. Network Infrastructure and Wireless 5G for the Smart Cities

-- 5G Networks: Making Smart Cities a Reality 

Smart cities are meant to be hubs of hyperconnectivity, and without the right infrastructure, there will always be a lag in transmissions which will translate into a delay in transformations. Wireless communications and networks are one of the cornerstones of a true smart city. Hyperconnectivity is becoming a reality and even more so for the smart city now and in the future where an enormous number of IoT devices may be interconnected, from trash bins to utility pipes to medical systems. 

The next generation of connectivity will play a huge role in enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), connected transit and other technologies as cities evolve. Wireless 5G will provide significantly faster data speeds, much higher data capacity, better coverage, and lower latency - or quicker response times - than 4G. Compared to 4G, 5G aims for a 10X decrease in end-to-end latency, 100X traffic capacity and network efficiency, three times the spectrum efficiency, and 10 times the connection density. 5G connectivity will one day power the future of cities.

Today our smart phones and cellular communications devices run on 4G/LTE. The next evolution of wireless connectivity is 5G, which is not just a step up from 4G – it is a transformation. 5G offers far greater capabilities, but it’s not a replacement; 5G will still co-exist with 4G for the foreseeable future. 

-- Future of Wireless 5G Technology 

Wireless 5G technology holds the key to a smarter, more efficient and more connected world. The lighting-speed transmission of massive amounts of data makes the potential applications of 5G technology - from self-driving technology and smart cities to remote doctors and safer communities - life-changing. But the true transformative power of 5G is on a systems level: for buildings, industries, and cities. The coming wireless revolution is bigger than anything you can imagine. 

There is no denying that mobile data consumption is exploding, and all of our future technologies will require vastly faster, ubiquitous wireless connectivity. Bandwidth has become the lifeblood of cities. 5G is really the base technology that all others are built on. We are now in the early stages the next technological revolution: the development of a ubiquitous wireless network that will marry data collection and computation with billions of devices. 


-- The Role of Wireless 5G in Transforming Tomorrow’s Smart Cities 

The smart city is underpinned by the uninterrupted and reliable flow of data from interconnected wired and wireless networks. When data needs to be real-time, it absolutely cannot be interrupted or bogged down by latency problems. 5G allows for significant performance enhancements and the ability for mobile network operators (MNOs) to virtually partition - or slice - the network to guarantee the required performance for various applications. The process will allow networks to be broken up into numerous portions that can be managed independently, customized, and, most importantly, not affect one another if one portion is overloaded or down. 

5G will include both mobile and fixed-base wireless applications; for example, a 5G modem can replace fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) installations with wireless connections. For the first time, 5G could transform Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) - a term that refers to the connection of two or more fixed locations (such as buildings) using a wireless network. Differing from a 5G mobile network in that the endpoints don’t move, 5G FWA is touted to deliver throughput, latency and reliability equivalent to fibre, at a lower cost. 5G will make it possible to connect entire networks of fixed locations and systems with previously unattainable performance. Crucially, these efficient, agile networks will deliver the ubiquitous connectivity needed to underpin a vast ecosystem of connected services – in essence, a smart city.

-- 5G Ecosystem of Sensors and Devices

5G is not just about technology but also about the ecosystem that provides interoperability and end-to-end solutions. 5G goes beyond the path that 4G/LTE and any generation of cellular technologies went through. It’s more about enabling services. In the 3GPP specifications for 5G, there are more than 70 use cases being specified. You don’t have that with 4G. 

The impact of 5G will extend well beyond telecommunications: by connecting people, machines and things on a massive scale. It will become the underlying fabric of an entire ecosystem of fully connected sensors and devices, capable of overhauling economic and business policies, and further blurring geographical and cultural borders. 

5G will create a world that is more flexible, versatile and productive. It will disrupt “the way things are.” It will also allow humans to be part of the loop, not just a “thing” connected to other “things”. This level of autonomy and integration will bring us to a seamless human-machine-things integration. It will become a part of the large ecosystem and make significant improvements to our lives. The smart city will only reach its fully interconnected potential with the onset of 5G network connectivity from 2020. 

9. Building Smart Cities Applications Using IoT and Cloud-based Architectures

-- Cloud-based and Internet of Things (IoT)-based Services

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, applications, and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. On the other hand, IoT concept envisions a new generation of devices (sensors, both virtual and physical) that are connected to the Internet and provide different services for value-added applications. The smart city concept is the logical culmination of IoT.

Smart city technologies promote cloud-based and IoT-based services in which real-world user interfaces use smart phones, sensors and RFIDs. Cloud computing and IoT are presently two most important ICT models that are shaping the next generation of computing. Both concepts have major impact on how we build and deploy smart applications/solutions for smart cities. For example, Autonomous vehicles will be controlled in the cloud. Smart-city energy grids, transportation networks, and water systems will be controlled in the cloud. Immersive education and entertainment will come from the cloud. Such futures, however, won’t come to pass unless the pathway to the cloud is low-latency, ultra-fast, and secure.

-- The Internet of Things (IoT). The Smart City Key Technology.

Smart cities are primarily focusing on technological aspects. Fibre-optic wires and wireless networks are used to connect homes, individuals, public and private institutions. Today, urban planners use the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve public services, make cities safer, achieve energy efficiency, and improve the monitoring of governmental processes. Undoubtedly, these new technology breakthroughs are delivering many of the promised outcomes. 

A smart city uses IoT sensors, actuators, and technology to connect components throughout its borders. This impacts every layer of a city, from underneath the streets, to buildings and traffic, to the air its citizens are breathing. The key technology behind the success of smart city initiatives is the IoT. The IoT is a network of physical connected devices, like vehicles or home appliances, that enable these ‘things’ to connect and exchange data. This in turn, is creating never-before-seen opportunities to converge the physical and the digital - via data analytics - to improve efficiency (both in public and private sectors), drive economic benefits and improve livelihoods.

10. Big Data and Analytics in Smart Cities

-- The Role of Big Data in Smart City

Data is driving global changes to public policy and environmental awareness. People, systems, and things in the cities generate data. Thus, data from various resources are considered to be the most scalable asset of a smart city. However, the heterogeneity of data makes it difficult to publish, organize, discover, interpret, combine, analyze, and consume. Certainly, data are big and comes from heterogeneous environments such as water, energy, traffic, and buildings. The term big data is used to describe a huge volume of both structured and unstructured data which is so large and complex that it is difficult to manage and process using traditional database and software tools. 

Smart cities are focused on controlling available resources safely, sustainably, and efficiently to improve the economy and societal outcomes. As populations grow and resources become scarcer, the efficient usage of these limited goods becomes more important. Smart cities are a key factor in the consumption of materials and resources. 

-- Smart City and Role of Analytics

Big data analytics is the often complex process of examining large and varied data sets - or big data - to uncover information including hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends and customer preferences that can help organizations make informed business decisions. With today’s technology, it’s possible to analyze big data and get answers from it almost immediately. Big data analytics uses advance techniques like predictive modeling, text analytics, machine learning, forecasting and statistical analysis. It will helps to identify trends, weak spots or determine conditions for making better and faster decisions about the future which can be very significant to the concerned area. 

In smart cities, various municipals and state agencies generate heterogeneous data with minimal or no coordination. Thus, the challenges arise with the early stages of big data in smart cities hinder the progress towards the latter stages i.e. data analytics, query answering, data visualization, etc.. In order to tackle these challenges and issues, the existing techniques in big data analytics for smart cities are still immature. 

11. Sustainable Mobility Trends in the New Digital Era

-- From the Energy Transition to a World of Sustainable Transportation

One of the toughest environmental and social challenges of our time is managing the mobility of people and goods. According to the World Bank, by 2030, passenger traffic will exceed 80,000 billion passenger-kilometers - a fifty percent increase - freight volume will grow by 70 percent globally, and the number of vehicles on the road is expected to double globally by 2050 compared to 2017. 

If climate change is to be significantly mitigated, the world will need to rethink its transportation systems. We’ll need self-driving cars, electric drive systems, digitally connected vehicles, and carsharing. However, the old order has not exactly hit a dead end. Electric cars are still the exception,  self-driving vehicles are still in the testing stage, and the shared use of automobiles has not yet become a mass phenomenon.

The transformation of transportation, whether on our roads, rail systems, waterways, or flight routes, must be accelerated if the global community is to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this century. That’s because transportation is the world’s second-biggest producer of greenhouse gases, surpassed only by electricity generation.

-- The Future of Mobility Transportation Technology 

Technology will form the backbone of mobility in the future. More data and connectivity can lead to more efficient and convenient mobility in the new digital era. Self-driving technology and digital navigation tools, electric powertrains, vehicle sharing, and other advances are transforming urban mobility. The way that people get around cities is changing dramatically. Technological advances and new transportation services are making it possible for city dwellers to cross town ever more efficiently and safely. Mobility that is smart and sustainable will be essential in addressing global issues such as climate change, poverty, women’s empowerment, and public health and safety. 

Fast-moving trends are influencing urban-mobility systems around the world. Some trends, like vehicle electrification and the development of autonomous-driving technology, relate directly to mobility. The decentralization of energy systems will make a difference as modes of transportation come to rely more and more on electricity as an energy source. The spread of IoT applications into vehicles and infrastructure will generate data with a variety of uses. Ride-hailing services have grown rapidly over the past few years and now compete not only with traditional car-sharing and car-pooling providers but also with public transit and private vehicle ownership. 

While the vision of fully autonomous, self-driving vehicles might still be a few years away, increasingly automated assistance is taking place in both personal and municipal (dedicated) vehicles. Assisted transportation is already very useful in terms of wide recognition and is paving the way for fully autonomous vehicles. This technology is highly dependent on deep learning accelerators for video recognition.

-- Smart Cities and Integrated Mobility

Transportation systems ranging from public buses to private logistic fleets will gain increased visibility and control thanks to Mobile wireless 5G. 5G will allow improved vehicle-to-vehicle communications, enabling more self-driving car testing. These networks will also help cities gain access to more data around their transportation systems.

The following trends are likely to have the biggest impact on the development of integrated mobility in smart cities: shared mobility, autonomous driving, vehicle electrification, public transit, connectivity and the Internet of Things, infrastructure, decentralization of energy systems, and regulations.

12. Intelligent Transportation Systems for Smart Cities 

-- Intelligent Transportation: The Most Important Pillar of a Smart City 

A city’s transport system acts as a lifeline for the smooth functioning of the city. In the absence of right commuting channels, life comes to a halt for people residing in urban areas. Proper means and management of transport channels defines the quality of life in modern hi-tech cities. 

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) can revolutionize the way people commute in metros and smart cities. ITS offer novel approach in providing different transportation modes, advanced infrastructure, traffic and mobility management solutions. It uses number of electronics, wireless and communication technologies to provide consumers an access to a smarter, safer, and faster way to travelling. 

Intelligent transportation must be a first step in the smart city movement. This could include monitoring traffic patterns, highly trafficked pedestrian areas, metro stations, coordinating train times and much more. When cities host large events that increase traffic and security concerns, it becomes increasingly clear that any smart city initiative must begin with intelligent transportation.

-- Smart Transport Services

Smart cities need smart transport services. Proper movement of people, goods and services accelerate the growth and development of a region. Improving mobility and decreasing traffic congestion are some of the biggest challenges facing smart cities today. Congestion impacts the daily lives of commuters, as well as businesses and visitors to the city. To meet this challenge many city planners are looking to smart transport solutions to reduce congestion as well as to optimise the use of city public transport.

-- Vehicular Communication Systems 

The first generation of driverless cars will be self-contained, but future generations will interact with other cars and smart roads to improve safety and manage traffic. Basically, everything on the road will be talking to everything else. Vehicular communication systems are computer networks in which vehicles and roadside units are the communicating nodes, providing each other with information, such as safety warnings and traffic information. They can be effective in avoiding accidents and traffic congestion. Both types of nodes are dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) devices. DSRC works in 5.9 GHz band with bandwidth of 75 MHz and approximate range of 300 m. Vehicular communications is usually developed as a part of intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) is an automobile technology designed to allow automobiles to "talk" to each other. The systems uses a region of the 5.9 GHz band (the unlicensed frequency also used by WiFi). V2V communication’s ability to wirelessly exchange information about the speed and position of surrounding vehicles shows great promise in helping to avoid crashes, ease traffic congestion, and improve the environment. But the greatest benefits can only be achieved when all vehicles can communicate with each other.  

Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) are special class of Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) formed by vehicles equipped with wireless gadgets. The communication in VANET occurs between V2V mode and Vehicle to road side unit forming an intelligent transport system. Routing plays an important role in forwarding the required data to the nodes or vehicles.

-- Intelligent Traffic Control System

In smart cities of the future, transportation systems will use sensors to detect congestion and bottlenecks in traffic patterns and rely on cameras to enforce speed and traffic infractions. Selfdriving cars will shuttle people in and out of the city, giving rides and making deliveries, and apps will coordinate with smart parking meters to let drivers know where there’s available parking, etc..

Traffic congestion has become a major problem in every large city of the world. To ensure a reliable transportation system it is important to have an intelligent traffic control system. The very first step to do that is to acquire traffic data. Traffic data may be acquired from different methods. However in recent days image processing techniques has been very important and promising topic to deal with traffic related problems because of its ease of maintenance and being more intelligent system. 

13. Smart City Crowdsourcing

-- People-centric Smart Cities

The goals for a smart city are to enhance the quality of its citizens, across multiple dimensions (but not limited to) such as water, energy, transport, education, environment, mobility, waste management, public safety, affordable housing and health care, and creative economy. Better data integration, combined with more accessible community hubs that offer a variety of local services, enable a comprehensive approach to social and community services that delivers better outcomes to people at lower cost. 

A smart future for our cities is not just one where technology has generated better resource management or improved access to public services; it is one where we live more collaboratively. Smart cities connect citizens to local government and encourage more direct participation, interaction, and collaboration. By combining people-centered urban design with cutting-edge technology, we can achieve new standards of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity. 

-- The Use of Crowdsourcing to Accelerate Smart City Development

The evolution of smart cities has shifted from technology-centered approaches via government-led strategies to a human-centric focus. Crowdsourcing will play a major role in shaping the smart cities of the future. Smart cities need not only government commitment, but also engagement from citizens and the collaboration of the private sector in order to succeed. 

Smart cities need smarter citizens. New platforms are being developed to link authorities, businesses and universities to make that ongoing joint development of smart solutions easier. The digital advancement that will pull all of these technologies together is the Internet of Things. Smart cities will play a central role in a future where every device we use in our daily lives will be connected through the Internet, so that they can all interact and enable us to live more smartly than we have ever done before. Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the foundation for delivering next-generation citizen services. 

14. Art and Culture Are at the Heart of Smart Cities

-- Reinventing “Smart Cities” through Culture

The smart city mentioned above mainly focuses on the technical aspects. But the question that stands out in the public debate is whether they actually live up to expectations in terms of changing the lives of citizens.

In spite of the ambitious plans and the technologically super-smart premises, the city has failed to attract citizens. The basic problem is the element of culture, which has been completely overlooked. The inadequate vision of urban sustainability, which persistently emphasizes economic and environmental indicators, while failing to understand a place’s cultural nuances, produces cities that are neither smart nor sustainable.

Urban plans should emerge from an amalgamation of technology and culture. In Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, one of the tribunes asks the crowd: ‘What is the city but the people’. Indeed, improving the quality of life is not only a question of technology; it is a question of connecting and inspiring people; it is a question of offering jobs and the opportunity to dream; a question of alleviating differences and adopting inclusive stances. And, beyond doubt, it is a question of empowering people and instigating political awareness and civic participation.

The path to this goes through the initiation of urban projects that embody standards of development that are culturally adaptable. Contextualized urban projects emerge from the understanding of the history, the societal principles, and the artistic aesthetics of a place. 

-- Promoting Creative Economy and Knowledge-based Society

The creativity of a city is an important metric for “smartness”. Establishing art and cultural districts—with venues, galleries, public performances, cafes, and shops—is a wonderful way to invest in human and social capital. Empowering communities strengthens civil society and closes the gap between the electors and the elected. A city prepared to satisfy needs for self-fulfilment and participation is a city that attracts and retains a creative force and devoted citizens. In fact, this symphony between a city and its citizens paves the way for a well-skilled and prepared community to meet the challenges of the future.

Cultural institutions and artists animate communities and ignite change. It is no wonder that many think-tanks point out that the era of the “Creative Class” has arrived. According to the Nomura research institute, the elements are in place for the “Creative Age” to flourish; a period during which nations prosper because they respect and tolerate individual freedom of expression and recognize that innovation—and not mass, low-value good production—is the driving force for the new economy. Therefore, art and creativity become critical to exploit the linkages between culture and commerce. 

Over the next decade, it is estimated that some US$250 billion will be invested in the creation of new cultural districts around the world. Reinventing a city that values creativity and innovation is like discovering some basic ingredients of development. For a synchronous 21st century city, no other path than that of knowledge and culture can guarantee a smooth transition to economic sustainability and socio-political viability.

15. The Main Goals 

EITA Smart Cities Forum offers a unique opportunity to understand how the latest technologies could be harnessed to create economic clusters, foster entrepreneurship and develop new industries in cities and urban centers. It focuses especially on ubiquitous technology - technologies that are thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities. The main purpose of this forum is to bring together researchers/academics/industries in the field of system, networking and communication to discuss major challenges, research problems, and potential applications to support smart cities and urban informatics.


(last updated by hhw: 1/31/23)



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