Over half of the planet’s population now lives in cities. This figure is predicted to rise to more than 70% by the second half of the century, a figure made even more startling by the fact that the human population will have increased by 2 billion in the same time-frame.
Evidence from around the world suggests that contemporary urban planning has largely failed to address growth challenges. Now through advances in technology, urbanization gets a second chance.
That is because smart cities have the potential to provide many benefits, such as:
- Higher quality of life
- More equitable opportunities
- Social, environmental and economic growth
- Increased participation from smart citizens
- Massive consumption reductions in both energy and water
- Enhanced interconnectivity
A smart city is the effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens. Smart cities are expected to optimize the use of technology in the design and operation of infrastructure and buildings in a way which meets the current and future needs of their citizens.
An example of a smart city would be the Amsterdam with its Smart City initiative which began in 2009 and currently includes 170+ projects collaboratively developed by local residents, government and businesses. These projects run on an interconnected platform through wireless devices to enhance the city’s real-time decision making abilities.
In Amsterdam, a number of homes have also been provided with smart energy meters, with incentives provided to those that actively reduce energy consumption. Other initiatives include flexible street lighting (smart lighting) which allows municipalities to control the brightness of street lights, and smart traffic management where traffic is monitored in real time by the city and information about current travel time on certain roads is broadcast to allow motorists to determine the best routes to take.
Similar smart city movements are taking place in U.S. cities including New York City and Columbus, Ohio.
Today’s engineers are positioned to lead the smart city movement. In fact, some would say it’s a perfect match. Engineers act as the lynch pin connection of applied technology and infrastructure, city planning and design. It is fair to say that the ingenuity of engineers will be essential for the delivery of smart cities as well as their survival.
Want to learn more about smart city engineering? Tonex offers Smart City Training Bootcamp, a 4-day course that helps you identify the tendencies and developing problems for communities and utilities as the smart structure movement gains motion.
Tonex also offers nearly 400 classes, seminars and workshops in close to four dozen categories of systems engineering training.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.