The Ever Evolving Smart Cities

PostedOn: 2017-11-17 11:23:30

The concept of smart cities has been around for about 10 years and is geared toward delivering better, more efficient services in all aspects of the resident's lives. Nonetheless, it has undergone some dramatic twists and turns with the emergence of key catalysts such as the internet of things (IoT). 

An integral part of smart cities comes from that of smart vehicles as it ties to the network of the city through that of IoT radio technology, cameras, radar, among others. The important aspect of smart vehicles is keeping them out of rough weather conditions in a garage; however, if you're limited to an alternative method, then you can simply visit carcover.com to buy your next car cover. 

Smart automotive trends change rapidly, but play a large part in the grid of smart cities. Overall, there seem to have been three different phases through which smart cities have evolved over the years. Shall we look at each of the phases? 

  • Technology-Driven Smart Cities 

Phase one of the evolution of smart cities is characterized by technology companies that approach cities and encourage them to invest in smart solutions. Nonetheless, the cities that adopted the smart solutions normally didn't have the capacity to understand the implications of the technology solutions or how they could affect your quality of life as the city's resident. 

Hence, the major shortcoming of this approach is that it misses out on the main dynamic on how cities interact with their residents. In spite of that, this model is the principal concept behind most of the bespoke smart city projects proposed around the world, including:

  • PlanIT in Portugal
  • Songdo in South Korea

These future city concepts have been conceptualized by private sector tech companies such as Living PlanIT. 

  • Technology-Enabled, City-Led Smart Cities 

In the second phase of smart cities' evolution, it is the cities themselves that conceptualize and initiate Smart City projects, instead of the technology companies. A municipality, under the leadership of forward-looking mayors and administrators, stays at the forefront in determining what the future of their city as well as what the role is for the development of smart solutions. 

This approach focuses largely on technology solutions as enablers to enhance the quality of life. Most of today's major Smart Cities, such as Vienna and Barcelona, may be classified as second generation smart cities or Smart Cities 2.0. 

  • Citizen Co-creation Smart Cities 

The third phase of the smart city's evolution is the newest, having emerged in 2016. Instead of a technology-driven or city-driven model, today's smart cities are embracing citizen co-creation models for helping to create the next generation of solutions. This phase seems to be based largely on issues of equity and social inclusion. 

It essentially emphasizes on creating a conducive environment that allows local sharing activities to thrive. Several cities have already made significant steps towards Smart Cities 3.0. Vienna, for instance, has started to incorporate residents as investors in its local partnerships for clean energy. Vancouver, on the other hand, has engaged 30,000 residents in the co-creation of Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Another city following closely in the footsteps of Vienna and Vancouver is Medellin, in Colombia, which is engaging residents from its most vulnerable areas in transformative projects. 

Conclusion 

The concept of smart cities holds the promise to potentially make the increasing number of cities around the world more efficient and more tech-savvy in a bid to improve the resident's quality of life. The concept continues to evolve, and this article provides insight on how the evolution has been for at least the past decade.