As fast as the world’s population is increasing, people’s lifestyle is also changing at the same speed. According to an estimate by the UN, in the next few decades, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, which means that all countries will have to develop facilities accordingly. But now the picture is completely different. Some cities of the world are struggling with population explosion and are presenting an example of poverty and misery, while some countries are rapidly converting their cities into smart cities by adopting smart technology.
In India too, there is a lot of talk about smart cities with crores and billions of rupees being allocated for development schemes. Work is going on on dozens of smart cities and lifestyle is changing rapidly in many cities, but are our smart cities developing like world level smart cities? After all, what kind of smart lifestyle is there in a smart city? On what parameters should a city be called a smart city? And how much harder will developing countries like India have to work to provide a world class lifestyle to their cities? All these questions are before our town planners today.
What makes a smart city smart?
According to the data of the World Urban Forum, there are 10 thousand cities in the world, but there are very few cities called smart. Here the question arises that what are the qualities that make a city smart? Actually, there are many parameters to make a city ‘smart’. Such as basic infrastructure, digital connections, balance of environment and development, adequate resources of education, medicine and green energy sources, modern transportation etc.
In a smart city, planning is done on the basis of people’s data, in civil welfare and government services, there is planning to improve services on the basis of that data and the most important is the digital data of the people, which not only strengthens the identity but also improves the welfare. It also helps in reaching the benefits of the schemes to the right people.
Why do we need smart cities?
The UN report says that major changes are about to take place in the world’s population and lifestyle. Due to urbanization, industrialization and migration from rural areas, by the year 2050, 70 percent of the population will be living in urban areas, that is, the urban population will increase by 2.5 billion people in the next three decades. Necessary facilities like food, affordable houses, roads, education, medical care, electricity, cooking gas, transportation will have to be provided for such a large population and it is not possible to provide so much on such a large scale and that too for billions of people without technology. Is. For this reason, countries around the world are working on the concept of smart cities.
How smart is the lifestyle in smart cities?
Actually, any city becomes smart when it starts adopting technology rapidly in its daily work. Singapore’s University of Technology and Design evaluates cities across the world on the basis of economics, technology adoption and lifestyle of citizens to see which cities have become smart cities. Cities like Singapore, Oslo, Helsinki and Zurich come in the top ranks in the list of best smart cities in the world. After all, what changes happened in the lifestyle there that these cities were successful in giving smart lifestyle to their people. After all, how does the work work there and what future plans are these cities working on? Know everything-
1. Amsterdam city to be equipped with smart facilities
The story of the capital of the Netherlands, which is famous for snatching land from the sea and settling its population, is also quite different. We are talking about the city of Amsterdam. Smart City Project was started in this city in the year 2009 in which an initiative was taken to make 170 facilities of the city smart by connecting them together. Technological innovation was incorporated in every work so that people’s life became easier and they could have access to every facility sitting at home.
For this, the use of electric garbage trucks started, bus stops with solar powered facilities were built and billboards-lights were installed. To deal with the shortage of space, floating villages were established under water, that is, families were settled by building houses on boats. The energy needs of business firms started being met through solar energy, automatic lights were installed on the roads. Also, the use of ultra-low energy LED lights was promoted for energy saving.
2. Seoul’s campaign to make people smart along with smart city
The story of South Korean city Seoul, which is counted among the cities of the world which are at the forefront in adopting technology, is different. Seoul city has made the best use of digital data to make the city smart. Automatic control signaling was installed in every area by collecting data of traffic flow and speed of traffic, surveillance was increased through CCTV to prevent violations of traffic rules. This reduced the cost of traffic control and also helped in increasing road safety.
Sensors were used to measure air quality, due to which automatic information was sent to the people so that in case of increase in pollution, people could come forward and adopt green energy measures and also could be alerted about their health. To ensure that everyone has access to technology, people were appealed to come forward and contribute to the mobile phone donation campaign. A measure was also taken to provide a discount on purchasing new mobile phones to those who donate their mobile phones. Due to this, a large population suddenly got the facility of mobile phone, which helped in providing information, education and other facilities to a large number of people.
To ensure the security of elderly people, they were linked to the mobile app and they were monitored regularly. Arrangements were made to deliver health facilities to them at their homes and all health parameters were monitored through mobile phones. Arrangements for where to get immediate help in case of emergency were made through mobile apps. Even for crime control, Seoul city police takes the help of AI based technology so that potential crime modules can be monitored, such symptoms can be identified, crime patterns can be caught in time. Seoul is considered to be at the forefront of cities in the world in using 5G technology in mobility and transportation.
3. The story of changing Singapore’s lifestyle through smart measures
Singapore started implementing a big plan in 2014 to make its cities smart. For this, emphasis was laid on adopting technology in public and private sector. Contactless payment system was adopted everywhere in the cities, it was first implemented for 75 lakh people using Singapore’s transport system. Digital health system was started to make the life of the aging population easier. The facility of video consultation of doctors was provided to them so that people can avail health facilities with the help of technology sitting at home.
To make monitoring the health of patients easier, devices and internet facilities were made cheaper. Singapore announced a new eco-smart city in the year 2021, which was to be completely free from vehicles, where the transport system would be only public and was planned to be based on green technology. A plan was made to settle 42 thousand people in Forest City in the western area of Singapore, in which not only all the work was to be done with modern technology but there was also complete balance to the environment. Special facilities were developed here for pedestrians and bicycle users.
4. The secret of Helsinki, the city that tops the happiness index
Helsinki city, the capital of Finland, which tops the world in the World Happiness Index, has set big targets to become a smart city. This city has set a target of achieving zero carbon target by the year 2035. Even work is being done in this city on the target of reducing traffic emissions by 69 percent in the next 12 years. The entire bus system of the city was converted into an electric bus fleet, the work of installing electric car charging stations started everywhere, the transportation system of the city was rapidly changed by developing the metro system. Emphasis was laid on increasing the use of green sources of energy in residential buildings and adopting new technology in the construction of houses.
Steps like pension to the elderly, home health checkup and modern health monitoring system were taken to make the lives of citizens easier. This city is changing itself very fast. That is why the lifestyle here has been called the most balanced lifestyle in the world and because of the better facilities, people from all over the world want to come and settle in this city of Scandinavia.
5. Zurich’s sensor technology and smart building management system
The story of Zurich city of Switzerland is an example of smart facilities. This city ranks fourth in the world in terms of quality of life. By focusing on making life easier for common urbanites and reducing the digital divide through waste recycling, green energy, digital security, better health facilities, modern education facilities, this city has developed its system differently from other cities in the world.
A special scheme was started in this city to make street lighting smart in the city. All the roads of the city were equipped with sensor-operated streetlights which automatically switched on and off according to the traffic. On one hand, it started providing full lighting in heavy traffic and dim light as per requirement in less traffic; on the other hand, it was successful in saving energy up to 70 percent in the city as compared to earlier. Sensor technology was used efficiently to measure and guide traffic movements and public WiFi antennas were installed. Smart building management system was adopted for technical facilities in residential areas. In which a system of smart management of basic facilities like entry-exit control, security monitoring, power supply, water, sanitation, garbage disposal etc. was developed.
6. Oslo, a city adopting the technology of electric vehicles
This city with a population of 6 lakh 70 thousand is not counted among the most modern cities of the world for no reason. Smart facilities can be seen in every area right from the roads here. It would not be wrong if the city of Oslo in the Scandinavian country Norway is called the city of electric cars. Most of the vehicles in the city have been converted into electric vehicles and the city has set a target to convert all the vehicles into electric vehicles in the next two years.
The city administration has announced many facilities for vehicles that do not cause pollution, such as free parking, charging stations at various places, right to use bus lanes, low road tax and exemption in toll tax, etc. This city has set a target to completely eliminate carbon emissions in the next 25 years. Besides, measures have also been taken to increase the use of modern waste management systems and green energy in buildings.
7. Now the story of the world’s richest and most modern city New York
America’s New York City is not only the richest city in the world but it is also the most modern city in the world. After all, what is the specialty of this city that makes its lifestyle a dream for people from other parts of the world? When work on the Smart City Project started here, hundreds of sensor-enabled facilities and technology started being used on all the roads of the city. A system for data collection and then management of waste was created, which made the cities clean.
Apart from this, smart hubs were created for contactless technology, WiFi facilities, online charging stations were opened instead of phone booths. Car sharing facilities were introduced which not only provided cheaper transportation to the people but also helped the city in traffic control and reducing carbon emissions as the number of vehicles used decreased. To enable people to come up with creative ideas regarding urban management, contests are organized every year on apps and data through which people themselves participate in these tasks.
Along with these rapidly changing smart cities, many countries of the world are also working on different innovative city systems like Smart Forest City of Mexico, Underwater City of Japan, Floating City of Maldives. These cities are being designed in such a way that the people living here enjoy natural life and modernity together. Transportation should be such that we see it only in movies. Along with this, there should also be a modern facility to monitor the energy flow in the city so that it is beneficial in terms of health and energy conservation and the work of city management can also be done easily with the help of technology.