Smart Cities – urban living will be easier, cleaner and healthier


City planners across the world are focused on improving the lives of urban inhabitants by creating environments that are reactive to their citizens’ needs; making life easier, cleaner and healthier for millions of city dwellers. Smart Cities could hold answers to many of the key problems that city councillors and planners traditionally face. How to manage the complex web of different systems and infrastructures that make up today’s urban landscapes? How to reduce the impact on the environment whilst ensuring that transport, traffic and parking solutions are efficient and cost-effective? How to keep crime levels down and make sure streets and green spaces are clean and safe for all citizens?

Using connected sensors and monitors to gather information in real time, Smart Cities enable decision-makers to monitor and analyse data from the entire urban eco-system to ensure an integrated approach to city planning and management. The benefits of this connected approach are directly felt by the people who live in the cities – they breathe cleaner air and spend less time in traffic or looking for parking; they feel safer and have access to well-lit, clean green spaces and streets; and they can use their time more efficiently with up-to-date travel information at their fingertips, wherever they are.

The next few articles in the Arkessa blog series will focus on the kinds of technologies that will improve all of our lives as we start to experience the benefits of the Smart Cities of the future. Look out for more in-depth studies of the following:

Tackling pollution

Currently, connected monitors and sensors in some urban spaces can alert inhabitants when pollution levels become too high, but it won’t be long before green technologies are rolled out on a wider scale to enable us all to breathe cleaner and healthier air inside the places we live and work as well as outside on the streets.

Traffic control

Traffic monitoring and digital road signage keeps cars moving, enabling everyone to get to work on time, keep pollution levels down, and optimise space allocated to parking. Connected technology makes this easier, whilst ensuring that drivers and emergency services have up-to-date traffic information in real time.

Waste management

From smart apps to tell us where the nearest bin is to connected sensors to monitor the entire refuse collection system, waste management is an area that looks set to be transformed with the arrival of Smart City technology.

Intelligent Street Lighting

From optimised energy efficiency to increased levels of safety and security for businesses and citizens, Intelligent Street Lighting provides a wide range of benefits within the Smart City ecosystem. One of the most interesting benefits of introducing Smart Lighting to a city is the way that sensors on street lamps can have multiple uses, for example, providing public WiFi or connecting movement sensors to CCTV systems, as well as feeding data back on footfall and energy consumption of the light itself.

Disruptive CCTV

The model of how CCTV systems record and transmit camera footage is changing. By using cellular connectivity to connect cameras to the Internet of Things, city planners can determine the most effective positions to collect footage from, and even which cameras could be retired due to lack of activity. Built-in connected sensors enable cameras to save battery power by only switching on when movement is detected, for instance, and secure cellular networks ensure images are safe and made available to the most relevant parties via the cloud.

Look out for upcoming Arkessa articles in our #SmartCities series – with deep dives into the technologies mentioned above. Follow Arkessa on Twitter for all the latest in Smart City news and more.


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