There is no shared definition of Smart City, but companies, institutions and experts agree that these are cities that are committed to improving the lives of their inhabitants and at the same time sustainability. In particular, we can identify the ultimate goal of an intelligent city in achieving efficient management in all areas of the city (energy, education, health, safety, urban planning, infrastructure, transport, services to the citizen etc.), while meeting the needs of the city and its inhabitants. In other words: to find a balance between the well-being of citizens and the preservation of the environment.
The exponential growth of the urban population has imposed an awareness on the part of world governments. UN figures speak of 4,000,000,000 city dwellers, whereas just 20 years ago we were 2,300,000,000. The trend is growing and unstoppable: it is estimated that in 2050 more than 70% of human beings will live in urban centers.
Population growth will not be the problem in itself for future generations, but a significant increase in energy consumption and pollution, so governments will have to face the great challenge of ensuring the sustainability of cities. Some governments have taken technology-led initiatives to become Smart Cities, but on a global scale we are still at an embryonic stage. According to the UN, urban centers consume between 60 and 80% of all the planet’s energy, but they also generate 75% of polluting gas emissions. Adding more inhabitants to these already high numbers without adequate countermeasures will have a devastating environmental impact. The ability to create more liveable urban spaces and care for the environment are the main advantages of the Smart City concept.
An intelligent city is a city that relies on efficient systems applied to its infrastructure. Through technological innovation, projects can be developed that:
- improve administrative and governance functions,
- collect tools for digital democracy,
- plan land use in cities,
- optimise the distribution of energy,
- better organise the movement of vehicles,
- manage the production of pollution,
- reduce domestic consumption,
The concept of Smart City is therefore the sum of all the initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency of the infrastructure of cities to make them sustainable. More and more cities are betting on this model, which aims to make life more comfortable for their neighbours. Some cities are more advanced than others in this respect, but the direction to take is finally clear, all that remains is to follow it.