According to projections, nearly 70% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050. While some megacities are already struggling to cope with the current inflow of people, we need to create smart cities in order to make these urban areas more liveable and truly sustainable.
What is the definition of a smart city? What are the benefits and challenges? And finally, what are the smart solutions to urbanization?
The optimisation of services like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), as well as energy usage and efficiency, is crucial. Building-integrated photovoltaics are a great solution of smart building management.
Promoting electric vehicles, self-service bikes, public transport and carpooling networks, as well as providing charging stations must be a priority, to give city dwellers true sustainable alternatives to the single-occupant fossil fuelled car.
Lighting optimization aims at reducing energy usage of the lighting systems, by providing the correct amount of light at the correct time with efficient fixtures. Intelligent and weather adaptive streetlights are a good example of smart lighting systems.
Control sensors can be used to monitor certain traffic patterns and common traffic jams. Besides, smart technologies can detect the possible deterioration of equipment such as traffic lights and light panels for pedestrians, or the effect of traffic on the environment.