Smart City

Over the last few weeks, we have looked at artificial intelligence in the tech column, and together we have philosophized over AI’s use, both today and what it may become in the future.

So far, we’ve looked at developers who focus on a single task, like composing new food recipes or scare us with creepy short stories on twitter. Nothing of real importance, it’s not something that interferes with the lives of most of us and changes it for the better. But what if a “whole city” became smart?

By 2050, 80% of the world’s population will live in urban environments, but the urban infrastructure itself has developed a little over the years. Do we really use all the technology we have available in the right way?

Imagine a city where streetlights can be turned off when nobody need them to save energy, or automatically light up a whole neighborhood when the police chase on a villain. The same lights can notify any maintenance needs themselves, so that we who live in the city do not have to tell the technical department. Or they can light up available parking spaces. In St. Petersburg and Minsk there are currently pilot projects that look into how to get the public network of streetlights to become a little smarter.

There is no standard definition of what a smart city is, but the main principle is sustainability, intelligent distribution of resources and transparency.

The example of the streetlights above is just one example of what we can use IoT (Internet of Things), other ways of use can interfere with everything we do in a city. Where is the traffic jam, how long waiting time is it at the doctor’s office, where does the city need maintenance like snow clearance and how to distribute water and power in a better way.

What smart city concepts would you like to see in the future? Will Smart Cities become part of our reality or will it remain at the experimental stage like flying cars and underwater hotels?

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