How Connected Smart Cities Are Improving Communities

 

The cities of tomorrow will be more than just smart. They will be able to learn and adapt from citizen-driven data, reshape city infrastructure and redefine reactive urban spaces.

Today’s Smart Cities use insights and data gathered from IoT and urban assets to enhance public services and respond to actual citizen requirements, redefining the quality of life for the citizens that inhabit them.

But there are also much more personable ways that Smart Cities connect communities with one another and with authorities and brands, all through smart technology.

From infrastructure to citizen behaviours, how exactly are connected smart cities improving communities?

 

Smart City Infrastructure

A smart city will succeed or fail depending on the complexity and implementation of its infrastructure. Already in the UK, cities like London, Milton Keynes and Birmingham have adopted new digital strategies to develop their smart city infrastructure.

Bristol has recently adopted its own vision with the ‘Bristol Is Open’ strategy to develop new digital tech, development and research. By integrating a network platform of multiple telecommunications technologies (including Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, LTE & 5G) into the framework of their urban spaces, they are pioneering the world’s efforts to create more connected spaces.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to implementing smart tech into smart city development. The use of IoT sensors on existing infrastructure can help transmit real-time data and updates to engineers, to speed up the repair and maintenance processes.

Quality of life and everyday tasks can be reinvented through the use of proper smart tech integration. New smart traffic lights are able to turn green to prioritise cyclists, alleviating congestion and making the city more accessible for other forms of transport outside of cars.

Reports show that smart-mobility applications could reduce commuting times in smart cities by up to 20 minutes on average, by creating a more intelligent space. The key here is for smart cities to invest in smart products, which as well as connecting spaces and communities can have positive knock-on effects to things like air pollution, congestion and even a city’s GDP.

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Connecting Communities Through Citizen Behaviour

There is a strong correlation between community prosperity and citizen engagement; the ability of citizens to communicate effectively with city leaders and officials. A community that feels like they have a say on what happens in their city will champion their urban spaces and demand cleaner and healthier practices from their fellow citizens.

People who feel more connected to their city and more of a sense of collective ownership are also more likely to not spit on the ground or to litter or to take part in anti social behaviour.

Local authorities and city officials have found that by connecting with their citizens, they are able to foster a more sustainable and prosperous community.

Installations like Pavegen, offer a unique experience by combining the digital with the physical and bringing communities together through sustainable messaging. Authorities and city officials can use Pavegen as a platform to demonstrate their commitment to greener practices and bring people together under a common goal.

This can be taken even further with apps that offer communities a greater insight into their city. Apps that offer relevant information on local news, city updates, traffic reports, sustainability efforts… are all ways people can feel more connected to their urban environment.

For example, residents and citizens who engage with Pavegen can download Pavegen GO ENGAGE to measure and share their footstep contributions. Authorities, brands and city officials can then use the backend of the platform to communicate more effectively with people, understand more about their preferences, and demonstrate their commitment to improving city life.

 

Improving Quality Of Life Through Smart Tech

Smart Cities are already improving quality of life for hundreds of thousands of citizens around the world. Small changes, like the previously-mentioned reduction in commute times through smart-mobility applications, demonstrate how quality of life can be enhanced.

Through the deployment of a range of smart applications, smart cities could see a reduction in fatalities of up to 10%. The data that is gathered through IoT devices, can accurately map crime in real-time and enable better deployment of scarce resources and personnel.

Smart surveillance, crime predicting technology and data-driven policing are just some of the ways cities can drastically increase the effectiveness of law enforcement.

Beyond this, sustainable environments supported through smart tech could see a decrease in CO2 emissions, air pollution and energy consumption. Tech which honours a sustainable approach not only helps reduce the side-effects of polluting processes but encourage a change in behaviour within the public to strive towards greener living.

To achieve this, city officials have begun to develop or adopt interactive citizen apps which have enormous influence on citizen behaviour far beyond the original touchpoint. Pavegen GO ENGAGE has been used in this way to educate users on the importance of sustainable attitudes, all through the power of a footstep.

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Conclusion

As urban life continues to develop and smart cities become increasingly prevalent, so too will the smart technology that they implement. The potential to increase a citizen’s quality of life is near-unlimited and the potential of smart tech is still untapped.

As data-driven strategies and technology is deployed across global smart cities, the public will begin to see noticebale improvements to the quality of life in their cities. By tracking patterns in health, pollution, traffic and other metrics, smart cities can adapt their processes and infrastructure to be more preventative and solve issues before they even arise.

Pavegen’s award-winning kinetic technology uses the renewable energy generated by a footstep to help power interactive applications, such as information screens, lighting, green walls, phone charging and game pods. The experiences we build in smart cities are designed to educate and engage stakeholders and citizens in their communities.

Using 'people power', Pavegen helps move society towards a more sustainable future through highly engaging experiences that inspire people to think and act more conscientiously around our planet.