Smart Cities are urban areas that employ Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for urban management, aiming to transform them from analog to digital and thereby enhance the effectiveness of operations and the delivery of services.
The priority for smart cities is the development of infrastructure to enhance the economy, the environment, and social, cultural, and urban development. Therefore, invest in improving communication channels so diverse services, including housing, entertainment, and telecommunications, are interconnected.
Smart cities are a sign of growth and entrepreneurship, and as a result, they represent a significant global advancement. Let's examine the benefits and drawbacks of smart cities to determine which is better for us and why.
Advantages of Smart Cities
The advantages of a smart city include improved quality of life for its residents, cleaner air, less pollution, savings on energy bills, and a smaller carbon footprint of the town as a whole, which makes it more sustainable and resilient. These benefits also show that a smart city can better follow the five pillars of the circular economy model: recycling/reuse, sustainable inputs like renewable energy, product-as-a-service, sharing platforms, and product life extension.
In addition to numerous other benefits, smart city technology can help cities operate more efficiently while enhancing services for residents and businesses. Smart cities that employ connected technology in every aspect of their operations enjoy numerous benefits. The following are some of the daily benefits that cities derive from smart technologies:
Improve community safety
Applications such as intelligent surveillance, home security systems, and gunfire locators have the potential to improve law enforcement response. Adopting multiple applications could reduce homicides, fires, and traffic accidents by 8 to 10%. Ineffective is the use of sensors to combat crime. Still, real-time data makes it possible to map criminal activity, run analyses to find patterns, and put people in the right place at the right time.
Make it more productive and less annoying
Cities that implement smart-mobility technologies reduce commute times by 15 to 20% on average. This can be done with apps that make roads less crowded, intelligently synchronized traffic lights, real-time adjustments to navigation, and intelligent parking apps that lead the driver straight to a free parking spot.
Throughout their valuable lives, roads, bridges, and old structures frequently necessitate massive maintenance and repair costs. Smart technology can help cities find problems before their infrastructure breaks down by giving them predictive analytics reports.
Smart cities can help improve public health
Through the collection and analysis of data, cities and public service officers can identify populations with a propensity to be exposed to a particular risk and intervene more effectively. This system allows residents to receive individualized information about sanitation, immunizations, etc. Using smart apps, doctors can also keep an eye on long-term conditions like diabetes in their patients and send them alerts.
Greener cities and a more sustainable environment
Automation, systems, dynamic electricity pricing, and specific mobility applications could reduce emissions by up to 15%. Installing water meters that provide digital feedback messages to households is one way to promote water conservation. This area of innovation is rapidly expanding in several countries and cities.
According to the Improved Social Interaction Analysis, digital channels can make people feel three times as connected to their local government and twice as connected to their local communities.
By making it easy for residents and local governments to talk to each other, they can be more responsive to community concerns and help the city grow.
The augmentation of labor force participation
The practical realization of a smart city is contingent upon a highly efficient labor force. Deploying intelligent technologies alleviates the daily manual labor burden many city employees face. With the development of autonomous agents, mobile devices, bots, and sensors, city employees can spend less on manual tasks and more on strategic projects.
Smart cities can change the work environment by automating manual tasks, giving employees the tools to reach their full potential, and giving citizens better services.
Enhancement of digital parity
Individuals must access affordable devices and high-speed internet services to ensure digital equity. Public Wi-Fi access points strategically placed around the city can give all of its resident's reliable Internet service.
Economic development opportunities
Investing in smart cities will increase regional and global competitiveness, attract new residents and boost business. Since the entire city will have access to a platform for open data, information, etc., companies will flourish. With the technologies, they can make good decisions and help the economy grow.
Disadvantages of Smart City
There are some disadvantages to Smart City despite its many advantages. These facts can help one comprehend the flip side of the coin. The disadvantages include the following:
Since the government or authorities will have access to security cameras and intelligent systems connected across numerous spaces, it will be difficult for citizens to maintain their anonymity. Face recognition and other similar technologies will change the way people think about privacy and personal space in a big way.
Those who can track and centralize the information gathered by security cameras will have more influence. It may be a government agency, a private organization, or another authority. They will be able to manipulate public opinion and control citizens' data.
Excess network confidence
Citizens of these smart cities will lose autonomy in their decision-making and may become incompetent due to their reliance on electronics and networks. If these tools are not usable, they will not be able to react appropriately.
Challenges in the pre-commerce phase
Despite the availability of funds, intelligent technologies will still be in their pre-commercial stages. These cities will lack the necessary technical skills and resources.
Pre-training is necessary.
If city residents lack knowledge of technology, they will be unable to utilize it. Without training, it will be irrelevant to their daily lives and challenging to employ.