How IoT Can Improve Smart City Infrastructure

People are flocking cities today like never before to improve their lifestyle, get employment opportunities or start businesses. According to the latest census report data, the twenty largest cities in America experienced a 20% population growth. Apart from New York City, the greatest population growth was recorded in the western and southern parts of the country.

As the migration rate continues rising, cities will need to enhance their efficiency to keep up with the growing population. This means that smart cities will become the norm in major centralized areas across the world.

Understanding a smart city

A smart city uses the Internet of Things (IoT) devices which include lights, sensors, and meters that collect and analyze data. The cities use this data to improve public utilities, infrastructure, business and more.

Today, we are going to discuss how IoT can improve smart city infrastructure. By reading this article, you are going to discover how you can prepare yourself for the future. The future is brighter today like never before.

Elevators and Smart grids

Architects and building managers all over the world are focused on IoT devices and solutions that will enable them to not only reduce building costs but also improve the quality of buildings and infrastructure.

A research conducted by Daintree networks found out that 60% of the architects and building managers in the US alone are familiar with IoT. Among them, 43% believe that IOT will transform how they operate their buildings and infrastructure in the next three years. One of the major areas of improvement is lighting. Building managers will switch to LED bulbs to conserve energy and save money in the long run.

Elevators are a crucial aspect of smart infrastructure. According to IBM, people waited for elevators for an average of 22.5 years in 2010. The result? Allied Market Research reports that the smart elevator market will double from the current $ 12 billion to $23 billion in 2021.

Another great implementation of smart infrastructure is smart grids which will greatly help in the conservation of resources. The European Center reports that 72% of European Union consumers will have smart meters in their houses from 2020. Also, the smart gas meter is expected to be used by 40% of the population.

In the past few months, Amsterdam has offered solar panels and storage units to homes that are connected to the smart grid in the city. These batteries reduce stress on the smart grid at peak hours. And this allows residents to conserve energy during off-peak hours. Residents can also sell spare energy back to the grid from their panels.

Smart City IoT

Car sharing

The majority of cities around the world are implementing unique concepts to become smart. For instance, a few years ago, car sharing was a new concept in Germany’s urban areas. Today, premium car manufacturers such as Daimler, Opel, and BMW are operating car-sharing services with great success.

According to a study conducted by Frost and Sullivan, an average of 15 million car-sharing customers will be expected in the first four months of 2020. This has been made possible by connecting cars and spreading smartphones. GPS data allows users to find available vehicles and operator bills, customers, according to usage.

Smart parking space

Similar to other drivers across the world you lose a lot of time and resources searching for parking spaces. Your parking space will be guaranteed in the next couple of months. Why?

A study conducted by the German Association of Automotive Industry found that German drivers waste an average of 560 million hours every year looking for parking spaces. This has led to losses of millions of fuel liters and excessive amounts of dangerous gases in the air.

The majority of cities across the world are looking for effective solutions to reduce searching time. In Spain, IoT is improving the lives of motorists. The towns have four hundred sensors in the urban areas. These devices register free or unoccupied parking spaces and upload this information to the cloud through wireless networks which uses lighting systems to direct motorists to the next unoccupied parking space.

Waste bins collection

Digitization began with the collection of waste in Amsterdam. The city installed sensors in more than 2000 waste bins. These sensors register the fill level of the bins and send this information to the central system using a cellular network. This has made it possible for waste disposal organizations to know exactly when the bins need to be emptied.

Instead of emptying the bins at regular intervals, they now do it according to demand. This method has reduced the amount of time and energy spent emptying half-full bins. Waste disposal companies empty overflowing bins on time and this has led to a cleaner city.

IoT data leads to new insights

IoT data has great potential. For instance, in the Czech Republic, the Rodos Transport System Center has created a complex model of mobility that is based on data from traffic monitoring systems and cellular networks.

Using this model, the Rodos Center can advise rescue, police and fire departments when holding major events or planning. The Czech capital has been using this model to improve public transportation services in the long run.

Opening standards and platforms

At the moment, cities are implementing IoT solutions to solve acute challenges. However, we still have a long way to go before we connect all the smart cities in the world. There are a variety of reasons for this. And most of them are responsibility-related. Today, individual administrative bodies that control smart cities work independently from each other.

To realize their potential, cities have to consolidate their efforts at national and departmental levels and involve the citizens in the innovation and implementation processes. Some of the cities that have appointed city managers to perform this task include Brussels, Atlanta, and Glasgow.

Uniform standards

Developing uniform, open and international standards to connect parking spaces, waste bins, and other forms of car sharing is the greatest challenge. Global standards are yet to be implemented because managers are in the development stage.

As a result, most of the cities are designing and creating their platforms which sync with different IT solutions to ensure the smart city communicate using a common language. These platforms will simplify the management of both devices and data.

Enhancing security

As cities become more independent of IT solutions, they’ll have to prioritize security to protect themselves against cyber-attacks and loss of data. Additionally, the cellular network has to cope with all the demands of the smart city effectively.

New wireless communication technologies such as 5G will be needed to transfer small amounts of data over a long distance. Network failure should not result in a total meltdown of the entire infrastructure.


The potential of smart cities is indeed limitless. Smart cities will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. IoT is expected to revolutionize other different areas apart from infrastructure. With these facts in mind, let’s embrace IoT and smart infrastructure by preparing ourselves for change. As the saying goes, the only constant thing is change.

Author Bio: Quinn Paulson is a professional journalist and content writer for professional writing services. He loves sharing his insights on technology, business, and health.