A ‘smart’ city is one that uses digital technologies to address and manage:
- Well Being (Healthcare)/Quality of Life/Ageing
- Operating Costs (Infrastructure)
- Resource Allocation and Consumption
- Citizen Participation and Governance
- Transportation and Development
- Information and Communication Technologies Growth and Access
- Natural Resources and Climate Change (Energy Governance)
- Human and Social Capital
- Public Safety
Central to the concept of the smart city is a connected population. And while there is “no absolute definition of a smart city, no end point, [it is] rather a process, or series of steps, by which cities become more ‘liveable’ and resilient and, hence, able to respond quicker to new challenges,” more and more people are becoming involved in the smart cities concept. (Source: bis 13 Smart Cities Background Paper) For the already connected, the LAN party has evolved into the hackathon. Civic hackathons are being held to ” find solutions to problems facing our communities and play an important part in the effort to open government data for use by citizens, activists, and journalists.” This ramped-up level of engagement has been facilitated by social media, particularly twitter, which may be the closest form of direct democracy we have. As we grow into management of our cities and our lives by machines, when the management of every mundane necessity is taken out of our hands, what remains will, hopefully, be for the good of us all.
Taking things to the next level, here is our Smart Cities Program Director (also Dean and Professor, UM School of Architecture) Rodolphe el-Khoury’s TED Talk on “Designing for the internet of things” giving us a fascinating glimpse at what living this way might be like through the literal building of smart things (like blankets), walls, homes, buildings, and cities.
See full-size INFOGRAPHIC “The Need For Smarter Cities” part of “Anatomy of a Smart City” at Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things
Masthead image from Shutterstock #36645763