Intelligent Cities

October 8, 2019

As our world advances, more technologies that benefit our everyday lives are developed, from the mundane motion sensor to artificial intelligence. In response to all of these technological advancements, places called intelligent cities have started to emerge. An intelligent city is a city that uses digital technology to enhance the performance of devices and services to improve the wellbeing of citizens.

The technologies utilized in intelligent cities allow for them to function in an orderly fashion, making everyday life much simpler. For example, traffic lights play a significant role in our lives. Every day, the installments control and facilitate traffic to create a safer and more productive community. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center of America, half of all trips in San Francisco are made possible by public transport. The Bay Area has many islands only accessible by boat, including Angel Island and Alcatraz. Additionally, there are ships that run every hour to and from each island. These ships are fuel-efficient, and people are easily able to go online and book tickets without any hassle. 

Many different cities have taken huge steps towards becoming completely self-reliant. San Francisco is known to be leading the revolutionary pack. Not only have they initiated the most effective public transport train in the world, BART, but they have also made a train that contains 100% clean air and is environmentally safe. Especially in a city like San Francisco, where there are many tourist attractions and great views, keeping the air clean and fresh is an amazing accomplishment. Since San Francisco implemented their electric trains and other methods of public transportation, fatalities due to accidents on the freeway or streets have actually dropped by 10%. 

Many have taken steps to combat climate change, which affects weather patterns and farming, utilizing intelligent cities. Sønderborg, a small city in Denmark, has been working directly with their residents and local politicians to become zero-carbon by the year 2029. They have acquired onshore and offshore wind farms, residential solar photovoltaic panels, and the use of biogas for industries and transportation. As a result, there is now a 35 percent reduction of carbon emissions, allowing their city to effectively slow down the rate of climate change.  In Europe as a whole, scientists have taken significant steps in reducing their carbon emissions since 2007 by changing the relationships of residents, businesses, and local authorities, and have been able to decrease carbon emission by 10 percent annually.

The city of Pittsburg plans to use smart technology to improve conditions for each citizen. For example, expanding their traffic light system helps them to establish different traffic patterns and reduce travel times. The city of Denver also wants to not only reduce traffic but also to increase safety for drivers. They plan to “increase public and private electric vehicle use, install pedestrian detection systems at intersections to improve safety, and establish a connected freight system where trucks can communicate with each other to coordinate delivery routes and reduce congestion”(Funk, Deininger 2018). Los Angeles, as the 2018 Business Insider’s 7th richest city in the world, currently harbors 4 million people within 503 square miles, approximately 8,100 people per square mile. A destination for travelers and movers alike, the population is projected to rise each year, requiring new technologies to ensure safety and comfort for each individual.

In various sections of the world, technology is used to solve multiple problems in one fell swoop. In Porto, Portugal, the wireless company Venial uses widely accessible networks to connect individual vehicles to each other. By placing sensors on their taxis and buses, they are able to both collect urban data and distribute wireless internet. As sensors distribute and collect data, traffic can be greatly facilitated, and more will have access to the internet in varied locations. Incorporating these notions into Los Angeles could also alleviate traffic congestion, pollution, and demand for more WiFi access. In addition, numerous issues for the future of cities that call for connectivity would disappear. 

Incorporating intelligent cities with even the most basic technologies in daily life can allow people to have safer, more vibrant lives. With LED lights, solar panels, and even sensors, we can help the earth as a whole by providing solutions to climate change and pollution. In addition, a connection between individuals can increase safety and security for all. Adapting to smart cities is a huge step that may very well determine the course urban centers as a whole take in the near future.Technology can provide multiple varied benefits that increase safety and helps society thrive within cities.

 

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