The future will be more technological, and this will affect our cities. In this article we will discuss the evolution of metropolises over the coming years: how we will live in them and what will be the advantages and disadvantages of the so called “Internet of things” or artificial intelligence.
From the 19th to 21st of November Barcelona will host the Smart City Expo World Congress. An exhibition that aims to reflect on and experiment with the relationship between people, technology and cities. It’s clear that technology will alter populations and societies. But, how will it do this? Will it improve our lives or bring us new problems?
Both the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations define the so-called smart cities as places based on efficiency and wellbeing that use technology to improve the living conditions, affecting a wide range of areas. Here we give 6 examples of how they are already doing so.
For example, technology is changing the model for public lighting. Today, the Internet of Things allows the installation of sensors in streetlights so that they only turn on when they detect the presence of people. This makes for a more efficient use of energy and furthermore, can be expanded to the installation of lighting in less populated areas, offering a medium and long-term saving.
Technology has also improved the supply of water and electricity. How much water does a city consume? Sensors enable the monitoring not only of the actual consumption, but also the need for sanitation and treatment. Furthermore, if we apply this to the electricity and water meters and add artificial intelligence, any business or public institution can analyse their resources, detect patterns of consumptions, and anticipate future requirements.
In this field, some models stand out, like in the city of New Songdo, in South Korea, where already all the domestic waste is vacuumed directly from the individual kitchens through a network of tunnels.
As part of the development of public transport, smart cities are introducing new transport systems such as electric mopeds, bicycles on demand or even scooters. In this case, the sensors allow the ongoing tracking of their location, consumption, range, etc.
Today, according to the real estate consultant CBRE’s Smart City Index, Barcelona is ranked in the Top 25 of the smartest cities. As a responsible business committed to innovation, Withfor is also involved with social improvement and management by means of new technologies. Because we are convinced that all of us have the opportunity to adapt and benefit from the advantages that ICTs offer, allowing us to rethink our cities, making them more balanced and sustainable.
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