Technology doesn’t stop; indeed, emerging technologies are fuelled by millions of researchers who collaborate globally, and with exciting developments with nanotechnology, the ‘smart city’ concept has evolved. Using digital platforms, a smart city is connected in so many ways, monitoring energy use, traffic, waste systems and so much more.
With every single vehicle connected to a GPS system, the main computer can easily configure traffic lights, while also being able to monitor congestion, which means the city traffic can be managed without too much human involvement. Many businesses use Smart City specialist GPS software and these can all be integrated into the mainframe system, allowing traffic planners to factor in commercial deliveries and collections.
Typically, a smart city would be powered by a combination of hydro-electric and solar power systems, and technology enables the city management to closely monitor energy use, and with street illumination that comes on and off automatically, the power grid can be computer controlled. The system would be able to automatically switch energy sources, should the need arise, and accurate measurement of energy used enables energy conservation.
A smart city would also be a green city, with plants, shrubs and trees in many locations, providing much needed shade and also keeping the environment clean and pollution-free. Waste removal would be fully integrated into the city’s smart system, plus there would be recycling plants in the suburbs, where most of the waste is processed and recycled. There would be clean-air sensors all over the city to allow the controllers to know the current air quality at any given time and location, which is essential to closely monitoring the quality of the air.
Even the city architecture would be designed with smart solutions, with special glass that insulates, helping to reduce energy consumption, and, of course, solar panels would be integrated into most structures, but in a way that does not affect the aesthetics. Windmills would be on the outer fringes of the city, in prime locations, where they receive the most wind, and these would provide a portion of the city’s energy, being controlled by a computer system.
There would be at least two main mass transportation systems (MTS), which would likely be on rails suspended above the street level, with perhaps an electric bus shuttle system that enables people to get around without using cars and taxis. Cycling would be very popular, with an automated cycle drop-off system that uses many stations where the bikes are stored and a digital key or QR code allows the user access. Electric-powered bikes are also very popular and some cities outsource this to private companies, who invest in a network where bikes can be charged while waiting to be used.
The smart city will be remarkable in many ways and the new style of urban living will bring with it many benefits, not least with emerging technology. The quality of life would be much higher than a traditional metropolis, plus things would be computer controlled.