The massive urbanization on a planetary scale, as well as the global warming which worries the authorities and the public opinion, leads to the creation of a new concept of city. If the smart city is beginning to make its way into people’s minds, it is as full-fledged actors in this project to make the city intelligent that we must all intervene.
However, the challenges are many. The connectivity in charge of building security explains the reluctance of some people to preserve their privacy. The objective is to find the right compromise between smart city benefits and limitations.
Smart city benefits and limitations for citizens and communities
Certainly, the environmental stakes are enough to make us pessimistic if we do not act quickly. Architects of the future design network infrastructures and systems, born from the constant evolution of innovation. Under these conditions, it is likely that the smart city and climate change duo will lead us to a framework that respects the environment and our quality of life.
To transform a city into a true smart city, IoT technologies are the perfect allies.
The Internet of Things uses in particular :
- connected devices, aiming to reduce operating costs without reducing comfort;
- intelligent sensors, which optimize water management and rationalize electricity consumption;
- cameras capable of automatically turning off street lights when the roadway is deserted;
- mobile applications, designed to improve mobility according to traffic and thus to limit pollution peaks due to transport;
- software, increasing the volume of data generated by the companies’ computer systems.
What might be the limitations or drawbacks of the smart city?
The smart city has characteristics that authorities are keen to incorporate into their governance, both in terms of foundations and investment. Buenos Aires can be cited as an example of a smart city. It manages to prevent the risk of flooding on its territory thanks to a permanent monitoring of its sewers by connected radars.
Yet, as powerful as they are, the technologies used in smart cities sometimes raise fears among users. Among the disadvantages mentioned, we shall retain:
- the high investment budgets required for new infrastructure;
- the risk of an increase in cybercrime, due to the rise of digitalization;
- the possible drifts of an omnipresent control of the inhabitants ;
- costs to be borne by city dwellers, such as smart electricity meters.