Introduction To Smart Cities

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General description Report of how a Smart city entails.

Smart cities also called the wired or networked cities are based urban systems for driving efficient city management and economic growth. Any feature which uses information and communication technologies to make a city more efficient is said to come under the umbrella of smart city.

The real smart cities need to start with the city and its attendant social problems rather than looking immediately to smart technology for answer hence answers the following Questions.



  1. What is the most desirable use of urban space seen from a multi-stakeholder and actor perspective
  2. How can all residents maximize their participation in urban life
  3. What mix of companies generate the most diversified sustainable employment
  4. What is the best way to involve as many citizens as possible in decision making at all levels

Proceeding this way prevents narrow technological thinking and opens the way to low-tech or no-tech solutions. Hence a city is a real smart city if investments in human and social capital, transport and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life with wise management of natural resources, through participatory government.

The conceptualization of Smart City varies from city to city and country to country depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspiration of the city residents. To provide for the aspirations and needs of the citizen, urban planners ideally aim at developing the entire urban eco-system,

This is represented by the four pillars they include:

  1. Comprehensive development-institutional infrastructure
  2. Physical infrastructure
  3. Social infrastructure
  4. Economic infrastructure

For any city to build and strengthen these pillars, a constant inflow of the adequate skills sets and financial support is required. These pillars cut across various verticals which is shown in the diagram below.

SMARTCITES   understands that data, analytics and ICT infrastructure play important roles in defining solutions that help build and ensure the sustainability of smart cities.

The Internet Of Things (IOT) is a new paradigm that combines aspects and technologies from ubiquitous and pervasive computing, wireless sensor networks, Internet communication protocols, sensing technologies, communication technologies and embedded devices.

Smart cities are advancing towards a pervasive, integrated and intelligent environment, where IoT is used to seamlessly interconnect interact, control and provide insights about the various silos of fragmented systems within cities.

The huge number of interconnected devices such as (smart phones) as well as significant amount of Data generated by them provides unprecedented opportunities to solve urban challenges. When this technology is merged with city systems to form an environment the real and digital worlds meet and are continuously in a synergetic interaction.

This intelligent and pervasive environment forms the basis of the interconnected smart cities. In this Topic we are going to elucidate the concept of smart cities, the key features and the drive technology of IoT, and the physical digital integration within city systems. We present smart cities application enabled by the IoT, and research challenges and open issues to be faced for the IoT realization in smart cities.


  • To investigate what a smart city is and what it consists of.
  • To investigate the benefits of smart cities to its citizens.
  • To investigate the benefits of a smart city to an economy


A case study of several cities across the globe was conducted to investigate what a smart city is and its benefits to its residents. The study mainly focused on Singapore and the United States.

What does a smart city constitute?

Smart cities Parameters

 After an examination of cities across the world, we determined that there were four parameters that must be considered in order to deliver positive citizen outcomes in terms of time and quality of life. The parameters include:
MOBILITY-These are urban transportation systems and they include both public and private forms of transportation. Non- motorized forms of transport are also included.
HEALTHCARE-This involves the delivery of health care services to its citizens. It can measure in terms of speed and efficiency.
PUBLIC SAFETY-Measured in terms of crime levels, mortality rate and law enforcement. Also measured in terms of the efforts undertaken to combat these challenges.
PRODUCTIVITY-Polices undertaken in the city to improve the productivity of its citizens This also involves the distribution of wealth and democratization of services.

How can citizens benefit from smart cities?

  • A lot of time is saved-
  • Improved quality of life.
  • Reduction in corruption 
  • Effective communication
  • Effective transportation
  • Clean and safe environment.
  • Reliable sources of energy


Smart traffic systems including dynamic traffic light phasing and smart parking reduces the time spent in traffic. Advanced technology such as cloud computing, sensor networks, activators and other technological devices can improve smart transportation systems. Sensors can be used to control and detect traffic congestion on roads and highways. This therefore reduces the amount of time spent on roads.
Public safety:
Machines are enabled with software that can predict major crimes spots in the city.
Software and digital sensors are used to prioritize emergency service vehicles through traffic lights and driver re-routing.
Digital services and technology provided in smart cities will simplify administrative processes when citizens interact with city agencies.
Cashless forms of payment also save time for residents in a smart city.
Health care:
Digitization of healthcare services in both public and private facilities will increase efficiency thereby reducing the waiting time.
Healthcare preventative apps also reduce the amount of visits to the physician.


    • Access to medical facilities will be easier.
    • Reduction in the crime rate in the city.
    • Increased productivity as a result of smart cities will result to higher income
    • Access to affordable housing
    • Communication infrastructure is also well developed thereby residents are able to easily communicate with each other. This includes to affordable internet services.
    • Clean and Non Toxic Environment

      This is due to:

      1.  Reduction in solid waste generation and improving solid waste management.
      2. Reduction of emissions of traditional air pollutants and greenhouse gases
      3. Reduces consumption of fossil fuels. 

      Reliable Sources of Energy

    • Solar panels are installed on buildings hence providing a reliable source of energy .