Our Construction Associate, Stuart Pearson, analyses the Smart City movement. He assesses how the Welsh capital is upping its Smart status for Insider Media.
‘What exactly is a Smart City? Those in the know may certainly have an opinion. But, generally, the smart city notion is unfamiliar to the majority of the population.
Major cities across the globe have been busy embracing the ‘Smart City’ concept in recent years. But definitions of the term – and examples of the ways cities are becoming technologically ‘smart’ – vary widely. The terms used to describe smart cities also differ – cyberville, digital city, electronic communities, intelligent city, MESH city, teletopia and wired city being just a few.
However, at its core, a smart city is all about gathering information to create actions that generate positive change.
This positive change varies in intention from city to city. It could be to better utilise resources, reduce pollution, improve public safety, or enhance the happiness of visitors and residents.
What all smart city initiatives have in common is the desire to drive economic growth by utilising technology to create smart outcomes. This, and the aim of improving the quality of life for the city’s inhabitants by promoting local development.
This could be as ‘simple’ as wirelessly managing streetlights to lower energy costs, or using sensors to monitor water mains for leaks and air quality for high pollution. It could also be more complex – creating smart parking initiatives that track available parking spaces and vehicle movement.
Smart Cities incorporate all of the technological advancements that make a modern city ‘smart’. But, in the UK, they’re also regarded as an urban development based on several all-encompassing principles.’