It’s the era of smart cities; advanced information technology has been one of the significant priorities for urban infrastructure developers. While having state-of-the-art amenities like luxury vinyl flooring and automatic lights may add a more luxurious feel to your life, the concept of intelligent cities takes things one step further.
Whether it’s about upgrading transportation systems, security, or quality of life, different experiments suggest that smart cities are probably the right option going into the future. Moreover, the concept upholds sustainability, better healthcare, and a clean environment for everyone.
But on the flip side, a high level of automation and intelligent decision-making also has some drawbacks. In this post, let’s weigh some of the smart cities’ significant pros and cons to understand their impact.
What Are Smart Cities?
Smart cities refer to urban regions where the infrastructure improves the quality of life using technology. Generally, smart cities have automated systems for different purposes. As a result, you will find digital solutions to common problems, making people’s lives easier.
Typically, smart cities focus on aspects such as:
- Home and office security
- Clean environment
- Smart healthcare services
- Improved mobility
- Smarter and convenient transportation
The introduction of smart cities has given a new meaning to luxurious living. So, while it’s great to shop glass tiles, fluted tile, etc., in your favorite tile store, it’s equally important to enhance your homes and offices with digital solutions and play your role in developing a smart city.
Advantages of Smart Cities
Smart cities have offered immense benefits to both users and administrations. For instance, a smart ticketing system ensures more transparency in transportation systems and reduces human effort. So, here is a look at some of the top advantages of smart cities.
1. Enhanced Decision Making
Smart cities are tech-driven, so the decisions are primarily made by machines. It means fewer chances of miscalculations resulting to better accuracy. But, more importantly, technology-based decisions don’t have an emotional bias compared to man-made choices.
This characteristic can be handy in collecting and understanding data trends. Moreover, as sensors and cameras collect different data, it’s easier to analyze and decide people’s needs. As a result, smart cities can improve decision-making effectiveness in urban setups.
2. Improve Environmental Conditions
Concepts like green and smart buildings focus on developing sustainable and energy-efficient structures. Recycling and renewable energy run at the heart of smart and green buildings. It promotes using the available resources in the best possible way.
In this context, luxury vinyl tile flooring can also help to keep the internal environment cooler and cozier. The tiles’ surface prevents heat, contributing to less energy consumption.
The idea is to use the least energy and enhance ventilation in buildings. This way, home and office owners can reduce air conditioners and use natural air for cooling and ventilation.
So, while you get luxury tiles for your home or office, ensure to include renewable energy and proper ventilation in your building plans.
3. Smart Transportation
The transportation sector is one of the most affected sectors in smart cities. Smart transportation means using clean energy to ensure people’s safe and quick commute. Electric cars, hybrid vehicles, and unmanned vehicles allow users to travel safely.
Since these vehicles are connected through sensor networks, it’s easier to manage traffic and ensure better mobility for the drivers. Likewise, GPS systems allow drivers to reach places without remembering routes by heart conveniently.
4. Ensure Sustainability
As the world moves toward renewable energy solutions, smart cities can significantly help reduce fossil fuel usage and ensure sustainability. However, primarily tech devices run on electricity, and companies are keen on making low-power devices and sensors to reduce power consumption.
So, most smart systems can run on small batteries and clean energy systems. As a result, smart technologies can reduce and eventually eradicate the need for diesel, natural gas, or coal to produce electrical energy.
5. Societal Safety
Smart cameras and intruder detection systems have helped improve general security for the public. For example, you can install a simple IP camera outside your door and catch all the action on your smartphone. Likewise, CCTV cameras in parks, malls, and hospitals have helped reduce burglaries and similar acts.
Moreover, speech and fingerprint recognition systems are now standard in offices and banks, allowing access only to authorized persons. License plate recognition, vehicle location tracking, and lie detector devices can help security institutions to upgrade their security measures.
6. Moving Towards IoT
With sufficient smart systems in place, smart cities will eventually have the power to upgrade to IoT. It means multiple devices, vehicles, security systems, and other tech sensors could connect to a single network and pass relevant data to each other.
So, don’t be surprised if a traffic signal displays your name on an LCD screen, telling you how fast you drove just a few seconds earlier.
Disadvantages of Smart Cities
Like all things, smart cities have a few drawbacks too. Here is a quick look:
1. Capital Intensive
Smart cities involve high-tech devices and sensors that cost a handsome amount. Therefore, it’s not all that convenient for most urban administrations to launch and sustain the equipment to reap its benefits.
2. Direct Impact on Real Estate
Compare a house having high-tech sensors, cameras, and other tech devices with an ordinary house, and you will understand the difference in their value. A smart city will have a higher real estate cost, making it more challenging for people to buy property in such cities.
3. Expanding Technological Gaps
The technological gap between a smart and an ordinary city will grow. As a result, it could lead to bifurcation among the masses, and the privileged would prefer moving to smarter cities just because they can afford to live there.
As a result, the latest technology might be limited to those who can afford to use it.
4. Higher Energy Consumption
Smart cities require continuous electrical power backup to charge batteries and collect data. While the current systems use low-power devices, an IoT system would need data servers to provide real-time data to different receivers.
Eventually, it will lead to more data centers with their cooling requirements and optimal performance. On the other hand, smart cities will require more power in the future, making it harder for administrations to sustain such systems at such large scales.
A smart city is an innovative concept that requires careful planning and smart execution. Otherwise, it won’t matter if you have LVT flooring or the most luxurious bathroom. Improper planning for smart cities could result in disastrous results for urban infrastructures on a large scale.
- Smart city concept by MoUD, Government of India
- How ‘Smart’ is India’s Smart City Mission?
- How IoT Can Improve Smart City Infrastructure
- Smart City Essentials That Can Be Incorporated into Any Public Space
- Smart City Infrastructure Planning
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