5 Characteristics of Smart Cities
March 28, 2018Smart cities? Smart cities of the future or smart cities of tomorrow? This new trend, where the technology is the main character, is known by different names. The world is evolving and everyday there are new and innovative technological ideas that allow a better functioning of a determined space and provides quality of life —and an improved workaday— to the citizens that live in it. Smart cities are not new spaces, but cities that, thanks to the constant technological evolution, can be called that way. A smart city of the future has a governor that includes technology to all the aspects of the daily routine, with the intention of giving people —and their next generation— a better future. In addition, a smart city also cares about improving transit, in order to avoid traffic collapses at rush hours, among other characteristics we will be mentioning later on.
Before getting into the topic of this blog, it is important to highlight that nowadays, Colombia is on its way to have smart cities of the future or smart cities. Colombian Government has introduced different proposals that allow this territory to be a source for new technologies that will improve in great scales the citizens' way of life. A very significant subject and one of the first characteristics that identifies a smart city is its infrastructure: how do buildings look like, how they were built and how do these buildings help to maintain the environmental and energetical areas of a city. In this sense, as Colombian architects, we focus on building structures with computational design that have smart characteristics, that means smart designs. To our specialists, it is essential to consider important details when building smart designs, this, on the side of innovation, modern, adaptable and viable results —faraway from common architectural design.
The smart cities of tomorrow are territories that take a chance on the 3.0 system, where the Internet and the technologies it brings are the new life proposals. It is not an easy path as it's a tough and constant task, but with discipline and hard work, cities can adopt a new way of life. The whole world has its sights set on these technological tools, that will help to have smart citizens, smart governments and also, will promote a good use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), toward to become possible a life conditions improvement.
Characteristics of Smart Cities
- Infrastructure Development. As we said before, one of the most important characteristic of smart cities is its infrastructure, since this must be considered a fertile land that will provide the necessary growth and urban evolution to the territory. It's not about pretty buildings; what we mean, is to have an infrastructure able to adapt to the city's environmental changes that also contributes with the energy system, has easy access and that simplifies people's lives. A good infrastructure development is oriented to the progress of technological and creative issues, conducive to create new channels of social, cultural and urban development.
- Transit Improvement. It's not a secret that rush hours are stressful, not only because they make you waste a lot of your time, but they also cause you mishaps during the day. When we talk about improving transit, we mean that a smart city is capable to solve any traffic issues in the territory. A good public transit network that connects destinations is part of these smart cities, as people can save time and are able to get to their jobs —or other places— faster. A great project in the U.S. are electric cars, it is getting closer the possibility that drivers do not have to invest time in gas stations. Another relevant project are bicycle and motorcycle lanes since this will reduce accidents in highways.
- Ecological Proposals. The environment it's suffering more and more every time, and this causes health risks to the citizens. A smart city has environmental leaders that focus on creating ecological and recycling mechanisms to help improve the inhaled oxygen that is commonly contaminated. Reducing the carbon footprint to reduce this environmental issue is one of the most important proposals. With the reduction of polluting gases, green areas like parks and other open spaces will be less contaminated and more preserved. Finally, it is relevant to say that in a smart city, recycling should be part of the citizens' daily routine.
- Efficient Public Services. A smart city of the future has no problems with water collection and recycling. In addition, they are territories that use effective methods to eliminate solid residues. The smart cities of tomorrow certainly have efficient public services that care about people's quality of life.
- Safety and Protection for citizens and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) Incorporation. Citizens' peace of mind has to go hand by hand with the new technologies. A smart city has security cameras all over the territory to safeguard people's lives, it also has public lighting -especially at night- and an efficient surveillance mechanism. Also, in a smart city they run identity verification processes to discard irregularities, and the most important is that citizens receive an instant response to emergency calls concerning domestic incidents or those accidents related to citizens' health.
Some Smart Cities Around the World
Now that we have gone through these five characteristics and we know how to identify a smart city, we want to show you some of the smart cities around the world that have stood out for their hard work on making citizens' lives easier and helping the environment by the implementation of integrated technologies all over the territory.
- Vienna: Believe it or not, Vienna has a high score on implementing smart ideas, it is even considered the world's smartest city. Located in Austria, Vienna has strong and innovative ideas to maintain their citizens in the right path of smart thinking, they even keep track of their development. They proposals are based on three criteria: quality of life, resource effectiveness and innovation.
- Paris. Paris has a strong view on green thinking and innovative ideas for a better quality of life. This city has been recognized for years for its highly successful bike sharing program, Velib, and its constant development of sustainable transit systems.
- London. Sustainable innovation and outstanding transit system are two ways to describe London. The city has a Smart Cities research center at Imperial College, in pursuance of encourage the thought of creating new and innovative proposals for transit, government, business and academic improvement. Also, they recently launched the largest free Wi-Fi network in Europe.
- Tokyo. Tokyo recently joined brands like Panasonic to build an eco-burb, a suburb that will have houses with solar panels, storage batteries, and energy efficient appliances.
- Barcelona. This city located in Spain is considered a pioneer of smart cities in the country. It was one of the first in the world to announce a solar thermal ordinance and they are also working to create a living lab for smart-city innovation.
Bogota as an Smart City
This Colombian territory is starting to become a smart city. Every day, it puts into practice more technological advances and the Government has supported this new trend to make Bogota the city of tomorrow that Colombians dream of. On a press release related to this topic, you can find all the technological proposals that President Juan Manuel Santos government has done: environment monitoring and indicators, free Wi-fi, surveillance cameras, educational tablets, job recruitment and paperwork from your house. Additionally, he recognizes Bogota as a leader on smart cities implementation. If you want to read the press release, click here.
At echeverrimontes we Design Smart
As a firm of Colombian architects, we work hard to implement this new trend. In December 2017, we had a joint participation in a project for Bogota City. After various meetings that involved innovative processes, it was possible to structure a pilot project for an Innovation and Experimentation Centre. The global network that we work as Colombian architects, along with Domenico Di Siena, is called Civic Wise and we hope to keep innovating in future projects.
If you need Colombian architects that create computational designs and take part of this new smart cities trend, echeverrimontes is your best choice. As a firm of Colombian architects, we provide smart solutions adapted to our clients' needs. To learn more about the services we offer, call us at +57 1 2350253 or fill our contact form. We will be happy to assist you!