While the rate of urbanization has exploded in recent decades, it will continue to grow in the years to come. This growth is not without consequences on the daily life of city dwellers, as well as raising major environmental issues that need to be taken into consideration.
The smart city concept is an ambitious but achievable challenge. Because it is a collective and collaborative project, however, the smart city can only take shape if the public and private sectors, as well as the city’s inhabitants, all become key players.
The smart city: an optimistic definition
The literature on the smart city, or sustainable city, abounds, so that there is no single explanation of what it embodies, but dozens. However, it seems objective to describe the smart city, by evoking :
- its smart economy ;
- its intelligent environment ;
- its intelligent mobility ;
- its intelligent citzens;
- its intelligent administrative systems.
Specifications of a smart city
A smart city or sustainable city uses infrastructure based on technology and innovation. To be considered a smart city, a city must have certain characteristics, such as:
- taking initiatives to save electricity and reduce pollution;
- an optimized public transport network;
- a keen sense of urban planning and architecture of the territory;
- a reasoned control of the ecosystem.
Dialogue and pluralism: the pillars of the smart city
For a city to successfully transform itself into a smart city, equipped with artificial intelligence, its governance must allow the private sector to invest alongside it. This strong relationship ensures the implementation of a digital environment focused on data typically collected by agencies outside of government.
This is called a smart city, where interoperability is essential, especially to achieve the energy saving objectives set by the city. One example is the installation of intelligent sensors on street lights, so that they automatically turn off if there are no cars or pedestrians on the road.
While connected objects are part of the adoption of the smart city, they have benefits and limitations. In a smart city, for example, users may fear that their privacy will be disclosed because of the cameras on the facades of many buildings.