Smart cities use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability,
create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and
working in the city. It also means that the city has a smarter energy infrastructure.
- Emerging trends such as automation, machine learning and the internet of things
(IoT) are driving smart city adoption.
- Smart transit companies are able to coordinate services and fulfill riders' needs in real time, improving efficiency and rider satisfaction. Ride-sharing and bike-sharing are also common services in a smart city.
- Energy conservation and efficiency are major focuses of smart cities. Using smart sensors, smart streetlights dim when there aren't cars or pedestrians on
the roadways. Smart grid technology can be used to improve operations, maintenance and planning, and to supply power on demand and monitor energy
- Using sensors to measure water parameters and guarantee the quality of
drinking water at the front end of the system, with proper wastewater removal
and drainage at the back end.
- Smart city technology is increasingly being used to improve public safety, from
monitoring areas of high crime to improving emergency preparedness with sensors. For example, smart sensors can be critical components of an early warning system before droughts, floods, landslides or hurricanes.
- Smart buildings are also often part of a smart city project. Legacy infrastructure can be retrofitted and new buildings constructed with sensors to not only provide real-time space management and ensure public safety, but also to monitor the structural health of buildings.
- Smart technology will help cities sustain growth and improve efficiency for citizen
welfare and government efficiency in urban areas in the years to come.
Water meters and manhole covers are just a couple of the other city components
monitored by smart sensors. Free and/or publicly available Wi-Fi is another perk smart cities often include.
- San Diego installed 3,200 smart sensors in early 2017 to optimize traffic and parking
and enhance public safety, environmental awareness and overall livability for its
residents. Solar-to-electric charging stations are available to empower electric vehicle use, and connected cameras help monitor traffic and pinpoint crime.
- Often considered the gold standard of smart cities, the city-state of Singapore uses
sensors and IoT-enabled cameras to monitor the cleanliness of public spaces, crowd
density and the movement of locally registered vehicles. Its smart technologies help
companies and residents monitor energy use, waste production and water use in real time. Singapore is also testing autonomous vehicles, including full-size robotic buses, as well as an elderly monitoring system to ensure the health and well-being of its senior citizens.
- In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, smart city technology is used for traffic routing, parking, infrastructure planning and transportation. The city also uses telemedicine and smart healthcare, as well as smart buildings, smart utilities, smart education and smart tourism.
- The Barcelona, Spain, smart transportation system and smart bus systems are complemented by smart bus stops that provide free Wi-Fi, USB charging stations and bus schedule updates for riders. A bike-sharing program and smart parking app that includes online payment options are also available. The city also uses sensors to monitor temperature, pollution and noise, as well as monitor humidity and rain levels.
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City on the Gulf: Koolhaas Lays Out a Grand Urban Experiment in Dubai
It has been 12 years since the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaasunleashed his concept of “the generic city,” a sprawling metropolis of repetitive buildings centered on an airport and inhabited by a tribe of global nomads with few local loyalties. His argument was that in its profound sameness, the generic city was a more accurate reflection of contemporary urban reality than nostalgic visions of New York or Paris.
Now he may get a chance to create his own version.
Designed for one of the biggest developers in the United Arab Emirates, Nakheel, Mr. Koolhaas’s master plan for the proposed 1.5-billion-square-foot Waterfront City in Dubai would simulate the density of Manhattan on an artificial island just off the Persian Gulf. A mix of nondescript towers and occasional bold architectural statements, it would establish Dubai as a center of urban experimentation as well as one of the world’s fastest growing metropolises.
The mixed-use project, startling in scale, is a carefully considered critique not just of the generic city but of a potentially greater evil: the growing use of high-end architecture as a tool for self-promotion. To Mr. Koolhaas this strategy, which many architects refer to as the Bilbao syndrome, reduces cities to theme parks of architectural tchotchkes that mask an underlying homogeneity.
His strategy is not to reject either trend outright but to locate each one’s hidden, untapped potential, or as he puts it, “to find optimism in the inevitable.”
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Copyright © 2010 Frank Cunha III.
Frank Cunha III – Architect & Visual Artist
Registered Architect, NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE
PO Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
E-mail: fc3arch @me.com