Cities are in a constant state of flux. From population growth to demolition of the old and creation of new infrastructure, a city is continually evolving. Global challenges, such as immigration, natural resource management and climate change, often manifest themselves directly in urban environments, where fluctuating populations and extreme weather conditions are increasingly the norm. Many cities were built on infrastructure that was designed for a population far smaller and far less active than they have today. The results are traffic jams, pollution and an increased cost of living.
A city is comprised of its citizens, visitors, local businesses and government, together with the services and infrastructure available to help them go about their daily business. These include transport, security, communications and more. To create opportunities for economic growth, a city needs to build the right operating environment for its businesses, engage its citizens with meaningful local services and attract new visitors and new investment into the city boundaries. Advances in communications technologies, exemplified in the growth and success of the Internet of Things (IoT), create an opportunity for cities to manage these issues, reinvent themselves and connect both their infrastructure and their citizens together to equip the city for current demands and future growth. By harnessing connectivity, a city can benefit from both improved services and lower costs across a myriad of domains from waste collection to water quality to management of deliveries and authentication of citizens for smart services and travel. This will make the city a more attractive place to live and do business, drawing in new residents and investment. The development of IoT communication technologies, platforms and services make smart cities easier to design, build and manage. Today’s IoT propositions have both breadth, in terms of being applicable to multiple markets within the smart city, but also depth in terms of proven technologies, security and design for scalability.