The Future Of Smart Cities & Steps Small Cities Need To Take To Get There

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City illustrationMore than half of the world’s 8 billion people live in cities, generating more than 80% of the global GDP. Today, cities are getting smarter. The smart city movement promises to improve urban services and boost quality of life.

Contrary to what you may believe, big cities don’t have a monopoly on smart city technologies. Take Cary, North Carolina, for example. A city of around 175,000 people, Cary is at the forefront of the smart city revolution.

Thanks to data collection and analytics, Cary has analyzed flooding data to predict emergencies and respond proactively. Smart technologies have also improved public safety and expanded key services. As Cary proves, cities of all sizes can take steps toward becoming a smart city.

What Is A Smart City?

The phrase “smart city” conjures futuristic images of technology-driven urban centers. But smart cities already exist – and they’re getting smarter every day.

A smart city integrates technologies into its services. From infrastructure to public health and safety, smart technologies help cities operate effectively. Even more importantly, smart technologies improve the quality of life for city residents.

Why State & Local Government Officials Should Consider A Smart City Infrastructure

Smart technologies can transform cities of all sizes. And according to a recent McKinsey report, smart city infrastructure can boost quality of life indicators by 10-30%. That translates into a real, measurable difference for residents.

Improving Public Safety & Reduction Of Criminal Activity

Public safety is a major concern for communities and their government officials. Smart technologies can improve emergency response times, increase traffic safety, and reduce crime.

Consider a first responder system that optimizes operations and automates traffic signals. Research shows that smart systems can improve response times by up to 35%.

Similarly, crime mapping systems and policing technologies can cut a city’s robbery, burglary, auto theft, and assault rates by up to 40%.

Increasing The Efficiency Of Public Transit Systems & Commuting Patterns

Many city dwellers complain about commuting and public transit – and improvements in these areas boost quality of life. Technology offers smart mobility systems that can reduce commuting times by 15-20%, which means time saved.

Small cities can make their public transit systems more efficient and inform commuters with real-time alerts. Smart parking apps direct traffic to reduce congestion and parking time.

Providing Advanced Methods Of Preventing, Treating & Monitoring Health Conditions

Smart city conceptHealth and quality of life go hand-in-hand. And smart technologies can help cities improve the health of their residents.

Early intervention and monitoring chronic conditions improve health. Cities can implement remote monitoring systems and telemedicine networks to connect residents with physicians. They can also craft targeted interventions for high-risk groups.

Informing residents about public health risks can even head off epidemics before they start. Tools like wastewater monitoring help cities tackle challenges before they become crises.

Enabling Cleaner & An Increasingly More Sustainable Environment

Technology helps cities reduce emissions, lower energy consumption, and create a more sustainable community.

Tools like water consumption tracking, air quality sensors, and building automation can conserve resources and reduce pollution. And sharing air quality data with residents can reduce the negative health effects of air pollution by up to 15%.

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Smart City

How can a small city become a smart city? Identifying and prioritizing your city’s needs, conducting a resource inventory, and building partnerships can transform your city.

Identification & Prioritization Of Advanced Technology Based On The Needs Of The City

Every city has unique needs. Understanding your city’s needs is the first step.

A thorough review of the city’s current needs and future goals can identify the role for smart technologies. Comprehensive reviews also help cities prioritize the deployment of advanced tools. Does the city need to invest in utilities and infrastructure? Or is a public safety investment more urgent?

Determining The Implications & Requirements Of Smart Connectivity With Existing Resources

Infrastructure is the backbone of cities. Instead of starting from a blank slate, turn your existing infrastructure into a resource.

Integrating smart connectivity into your city’s infrastructure might mean collecting new data or adding an analytic component to currently connected data. Or, it could mean sharing data analytics with the public.

Focusing On Sustainability Initiatives As It Relates To Smart City Data Capabilities

Sustainability is more than a buzzword. It’s also a major factor in urban prosperity and quality of life.

By prioritizing sustainability initiatives, cities can maximize the payoffs of smart city technologies. Investing in sustainable infrastructure systems, from waste water to city streets, will mean a safer, cleaner city.

Partnering With Innovative Organizations To Improve Community Buy-In Of New Technologies

Technologically advanced smart city conceptSmart technologies can improve cities behind the scenes. But with public buy-in, the payoff of new technologies skyrockets.

Partnering with innovators, including technology companies, local colleges, and other governmental organizations, can give your city the tools it needs to become a smart city. Strong partnerships give your community the best technologies and relationships to become a smart city.

Work With Hartman Executive Advisors To Begin Mapping Out Your Smart City

Smart technologies transform communities of all sizes. As specialists in IT strategy, Hartman partners with state and local governments seeking to implement smart technologies. Contact us today to start mapping out your smart city.

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