As the influx of people into urban areas increases, the need for modern implementations for sustainability becomes more pressing. Smart Cities are modern-day cities that make use of Information and Communication Technologies so as to promote the development of sustainable practices.
This is particularly used to address the impact of challenges on the environment due to urbanization. The use of modern technologies that create eco-sustainability is the future of smart cities.
The Top 6 Smart Cities of 2021
Singapore sets an example for future smart cities. The implementation of the One Monitoring system is what makes Singapore one of the best smart cities of 2021.
This system allows the Government to regulate and monitor air quality and traffic. Car ownership is strictly limited, so as to ensure a reduced number of vehicles on the roads.
Additionally, citizens are able to collect traffic information due to the One Monitoring surveillance cameras.
Zurich ranks as one of the best smart cities due to its intelligent building monitoring system. This is where the heating, cooling, and electricity in the buildings are all interconnected. Additionally, Zurich experiences fluid traffic and reduced pollution due to its world-class public transport system.
Zurich makes use of pollution measurement applications and parking research to create an eco-sustainable environment. In addition, any resident or visitor to the city can connect to their fast fiber network. This gives access to city maps and makes the use of public transport more efficient.
This smart city is specifically focused on becoming a smart city on an ecological level. Oslo puts emphasis on the use of electric cars, hoping to ban the sale of cars with combustion engines by 2025. Its goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, thereby, achieving carbon neutrality.
Oslo further encourages the use of electric cars by making use of systems exclusive to electric cars. These include automated toll booths, free parking, tax elimination, and the usage of bus lanes.
Furthermore, this smart city of the future aims to reduce its carbon footprint by retrofitting old buildings with greener energy systems.
Geneva takes place as number 4 of the best smart cities of 2021 due to its use of parking space detectors and smart lighting. Parking space detectors are placed throughout the city so as to monitor the arrival and departure of vehicles. This in turn indicates to other drivers of the availability of parking spaces.
The benefits of this system are the reduction in pollution caused by cars looking for parking spaces.
Additionally, Geneva makes use of smart lighting. In areas where insecurity is felt or crimes are more likely to occur, the lighting is brighter. Whereas in areas where there is more wildlife, the lighting is dimmer so as to not disturb the natural cycle of the animals.
What places Copenhagen on the fifth spot of the best smart cities of 2021, is their ambition to become an urban laboratory at the cutting edge of digital technology. They aim to become a zero-carbon area by 2025, by implementing energy-saving methods on all their street “furniture”. This ranges from street lamps to trash cans and vehicles.
Additionally, their use of LED lights, rechargeable vehicles, wind turbines, and specialist highways giving priority to bikes, makes them a perfect smart city example.
Toronto forms a perfect example of a future smart city. Their partnership with the Sidewalk Labs initiative makes them a real-life testing lab to a smarter way of urban living. Furthermore, the Government agency, Waterside Toronto, plans on developing Quayside.
Quayside is an initiative that aims to develop 800 acres of land into a living area that will tackle urban sprawl, climate change, efficiency, and affordability. This person-centered neighborhood aims to take the residents from zero to tech-savvy.
Smart cities are truly the way of the future. With the help of smart technology, access control, and monitoring systems, cities can reduce crime as well as their environmental impact.