Smart city: what are the major challenges?

Whether it’s transportation, technology development, or renewable energy issues, the future of the urban world is facing important challenges. Based on cooperation between citizens, local authorities and urban planning professionals, the smart city aims to be the city of tomorrow. With no less than 32% of French municipalities having set up a “smart city” programme, expectations seem to be high for the development of the smart city.

What are the main challenges of the city of tomorrow?

The notion of smart city is omnipresent in the discourses that address the city of the future. In short, it is a matter of taking advantage of the potential offered by new technologies in the field of urban planning. From infrastructures to means of transport, including security and natural resource management, the city of tomorrow must meet major challenges.

In this context, sensors, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) provide interesting solutions and meet the new needs of residents. Citizens are indeed looking for an urban territory that combines sustainability, ecology and “better living together”.

The reflections on the evolution of cities revolve around four axes:

    • improvement of buildings and other infrastructure through data analysis;
    • the participation of city dwellers in the development of smart cities ;
    • optimizing the functioning of urban institutions ;
    • promoting continuous improvement.

    Political issues

    From local authorities to city dwellers, the issues raised by the smart cities phenomenon are mobilizing several players. The users of the smart city are in fact led to evolve in a world where innovation is an integral part of daily life. So, a number of questions arise about territorial sovereignty or environmental issues.

    For example, the issue of energy is fundamental. In a world faced with major ecological challenges, the need to reduce energy consumption is essential. However, the massive use of digital tools can have consequences on the environment.

    The notion of smart city also raises various questions about equal opportunities and the protection of individual freedoms. The smart city network appears to be an ultra-connected city that could infringe on the privacy of its inhabitants. The sensors and other digital technologies on which the smart city is based are based on the use of personal data. In order to avoid any drift, communities have an essential role to play.

    smart city enjeux

    Mechanisms such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) help protect the individual freedoms of city dwellers and ensure the protection of personal data.

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