The smart living movement started small with a few simple advancements to simplify human existence in the modern world. However, the vast impact on eco-savvy connectedness resulting from automated technology catapulted the movement into the limelight, giving it a life of its own. Now, forward-thinking smart-hubs are quickly implementing programs for a truly responsive city experience.
A “smart city” can be defined in many ways. The simplest description is a city that uses different types of connected and responsive electronic elements to enrich the lives of its citizens. These cities provide evolutional infrastructure to vastly increase efficiency for future planning and development.
Smart cities are collaborative and integrated. They reduce emissions, save natural resources, and at the same time encourage citizen participation while at the same time simplifying their lives. There are as many smart cities around the world as there are definitions of what they actually are.
Top Technological Power
An integrated city lighting system is one of the first steps toward smart city automation. According to Europe’s Tvlight, “Having an excellent network of wireless smart street lights in place, the cities/operators can add Smart City applications such as air quality monitoring, smart traffic lights, real-time energy demand response, smart water and gas metering, city-wide beacon advertising platforms, EV charging, intelligent parking, and much more.”
Smart-everything for the tech-savvy cities also includes innovative energy management. Utilizing renewable energy sources for both public and residential structures reduces grid dependability and provides a clean constant source of power. Smart-transportation is also in the energy category but it has a wider application. Dependable, safe, and comfortable ways to move people throughout the city.
Further advancements include infrastructure, data, network, and IoT. One often overlooked feature of growing a smart city is the expansive practice of Design Thinking. Smart hubs bring citizens from diverse sectors together to present their ideas in a meaningful way. The think tank is larger and more powerful. Take look at some top smart cities below who have implemented out-of-the-box innovation.
NYC’s Green New Deal
“OneNYC 2050 is a strategy to secure our city’s future against the challenges of today and tomorrow.” New York will take innovative action to confront climate change and increase democratic activity inclusive of all citizens and the growing immigrant population. In an effort to preserve the American dream, diversification of the economy will help to close the wage gap.
Also included in the plan is the expansion of affordable housing and safe social gathering spaces. Increased funding will go to accessible healthcare and education for everyone. Digital infrastructure will also expand as will carbon neutrality with electrical car sharing and other strategies for smart transportation. NYC plans “to lead on the global stage” in smart city initiatives.
Chicago for the People
Chicago’s Executive Summary of smart initiatives will create “… a city where technology fuels opportunity, inclusion, engagement, and innovation for all.” The base of the plan, which includes 28 concise and pointed initiatives, is the implementation of a world-class broadband system. Educational guideposts will be put in place to make sure students and the workforce have access to all the tools for success. Also, Citizens will be included in offering ideas and planning strategies. And entrepreneurs and businesses will receive guidance for technology-based investment strategies to further the city’s mission.
London’s Digital Inclusion
In 2016, the Greater London Authority signed the Digital Inclusion Charter. With a deadline of two years, the charter aims to reduce the number of people across the country without internet access by 20%. The government also set up the fastest Wi-Fi in the UK, offering fast Internet speeds at 150 points across the city.
This multi-million-dollar investment will increase connectivity and access to information for the UK’s growing population. Reliable internet will not only increase participation in county, state, and local civic activities but also allow for the expansion of smart home automation and energy efficient technology, reducing a negative impact on the climate and elevating the overall quality of life.
Book Smart Boston
Boston’s Smart City Playbook describes the municipality’s goal to “make government more beautiful, more delightful, more emotionally resonant, more thoughtful, and more pleasurable to interact with…” Beta Blocks, the city’s civic experimentation sets up platforms for citizens to meet and chat about priorities for planning.
The players involved are smart city community tech companies, scientists, and researchers, as well as other groups of civilians involved in the projects. Ideas are organized and well thought out before they are presented to the Mayor’s office. This innovative approach to policy gives more leverage to the people on the ground level and empowers Boston’s citizens to participate in unencumbered thinking and design processes.
Carbon Neutral Columbus
Columbus, Ohio arose to the Smart City Challenge for American cities set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2015 and exceeded 80 other applicants for the grant. Columbus won $40 mn to use for its smart mobility program.
Partnering with Vulcan, Inc, the city used the grant to fund a fleet of electric vehicles and the necessary charging infrastructure. Additional projects included safe transportation for expectant mothers and mobile solar power technology. Columbus is well on its way to becoming a carbon-neutral city and continues to grow its philanthropic profile to fund future smart city projects.
Keepin’ It Wierd
Austin, Texas has a young, vibrant, forward-thinking population. Currently, Google Car, Google Fiber, and General Motors are testing their automated vehicles in collaboration with Lyft in the Austin metro area. The Texas capital city was also chosen as a pilot city for Car2Go.
According to their Smart City Challenge manifesto, “The business climate is seen as friendly toward autonomous vehicles and smart technologies more generally. The warm temperatures allow year-round testing.“ The motto “Keep Austin Weird” is a promise to stand out and continue the inertia as a top location for “creative class” and earth-savvy individuals.
These are just a few of the smart cities here and abroad, working for outcomes to drive economic growth. As more hubs around the world continue to invest in evolutional infrastructure inclusive of every demographic, citizens will increasingly experience an overall elevation in quality of life. Greater connectivity, open-mindedness, access to transportation and education, and encouragement of continued research and development. These are the attributes of global leaders driving the smart city movement.
Responsive Living, the term coined by Acoustic Architects founders, Aaron Flint and Spencer Hauldren, is the concept of seamlessly enhancing the client’s unique lifestyle using smart home technology. Responsive Living allows you to interact with your space via touch input, voice command, and predictive automation, placing you in full control of your home.
If you would like to learn more about smart technology for your space, feel free to connect with us. We will be happy to schedule a demo with you.
Like what you read? Spread the word and share on LinkedIn.