Accelerating urbanization of the population and the emergence of new smart sensors (the Internet of Things) are combining in the phenomenon of the smart city. This movement is leading to improved quality of life and public safety, helping cities to enjoy economies that help remedy some budget overruns, better health care, and is resulting in increased productivity.
The following report summarizes evolving digital technology trends, including smart phone applications, mapping software, big data and sensor miniaturization and broadband networking, that combine to create a technology toolkit available to smart city developers, managers and citizens. As noted above, the benefits of the smart city are already evident in some key areas as the technology sees actual implementation, 30 years after the creation of the broadband cable modem.
The challenges of urbanization require urgent action and intelligent strategies. The applications and tools that truly benefit the people who live in cities will depend not on just the tools, but their intelligent application given current systemic obstacles, some of which are highlighted in the article. Of course, all the emerging technologies mentioned are dependent on ubiquitous, economical, reliable, safe and secure networks (wired and wireless) and network service providers.