Although smart solutions have already been implemented in many cities, it seems that not many people notice their existence. One might argue that this is the whole point – to improve life in an unobtrusive way. But since future developments often rely on public approval before they’re executed, it’s important to know and communicate the benefits of smart solutions to citizens. Especially if success is dependent on mass adoption of a certain technology!
Accumulating the critical mass for smart to work
A smart city is one that deploys a network of IoT sensors and apps which communicate via a high-speed connection. In order for the gathered information and the system’s response to be reliable, there needs to be a critical mass of users – citizens, businesses, city administration. If not many people use a specific smart solution, it simply can’t be efficient.
So, the first aspect of improving the lives of citizens and building their trust is to improve communication. Introducing digital citizenship platforms facilitates communication between city officials and citizens, thus making it easier for people to feel a part of the urban community. Getting updates, voting on important causes, alerting city management teams of specific issues – these are only part of the ways a digital citizenship platform and app could potentially increase the citizens’ involvement in urban life.
Seeing the benefits in the long run
There are many solutions on the smart agenda – from public transit to air monitoring. After they have been implemented, they can be regarded as part of a single ecosystem. Let’s see how they come together to make a positive impact on urban living.
- Making the city safer
Smart surveillance systems, smart lighting poles and real-time emergency alerts help make people feel safer. In addition to this, intelligent traffic systems can improve the time it takes first responders to arrive at an emergency location (by creating a green light passage), thus helping save lives. Based on accumulated data, city management can allocate available resources more efficiently (especially police forces).
- Improving the citizens’ health
Smart public transportation, traffic management and parking solutions can cut greenhouse emissions in a matter of months, partially solving smog issues most big cities are facing nowadays. In a city where people prefer public transportation due to its efficiency, problems related to traffic jams and scarce parking spots can be reduced significantly, diminishing the negative impact on citizens’ health – not only via reductions in air pollution levels but also by reductions in stress levels associated with the daily commute.
- Saving time
The most elusive, yet one of the most important aspects of smart cities, is their ability to optimise resources. Time is also a resource, and a pretty expensive one if you ask urban dwellers. Implementing smart mobility can reduce the time it takes people to get from A to B, thus giving them more time to do what they love.
- Saving public resources
Big cities can be notorious for their inefficient spending of money and resources. A big portion of the problem stems from the inadequate monitoring system – decisions are taken based on scarce or inaccurate information. With the implementation of smart sensors and the mass usage of connected apps, decisions can be based on real-time data. This can help improve public spending and help city officials feel more accountable for their decisions.
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that every smart city solution stems from or leads to more sustainable living. In an ever-growing world, the challenge of creating communities with sustainability in mind is a job of city management. Creating a network of sustainable solutions across the city, and facilitating the proactive approach of citizens has an impact on the whole ecosystem.
- Decreasing the cost of life
By optimising the entire system, city management can effectively reduce the prices of services, thus reducing the overall cost of living in the long run.
Improving the quality of life as the ultimate goal of smart solutions
All these aspects combined together improve the overall quality of life of citizens. Some may recognize all improvements while others may see only a small portion of them. It depends on the way of life and the areas of city life they’re most involved in. This is why it’s important to not only communicate the benefits before the implementation of a smart solution but also the results afterwards. Maybe there are people who don’t use public transport because they think it’s slow and crowded. Maybe there are people who pay a lot to rent a parking spot not knowing there are cheaper options provided by the municipality. And you guessed it – a digital citizenship platform is the best way to do so, closing the loop of smart development in a city.
Curious about how your city can begin its journey towards smart solutions? Contact us so we can discuss!