Smart City New Potential To Invest

28 February 2021
Smart City New Potential To Invest

Mehedi Hasan Limon :

The technology based today's world is looking towards smart cities, micro-ecosystems of digitalized infrastructure as the on going crisis demands the forward-thinking governments to adopt a smart city framework. These frameworks not only play undeniable roles in helping to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic; they also promise to speed up economic and social recoveries. Both of these necessary advantages should have the ability to draw interest from stakeholders.
It is important to note that there are many varied ranges of smart city projects. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) envisions a smart city as one that brings together technology, government and society to enable a smart economy, mobility, and environment as well as smart people, living and governance. But a smart city is more than just its adjective suggests as "technological" or "cool". Smart Cities use technology, the digitalization framework, 5G, AI, Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) as tools to benefit residents, the government, businesses, organizations and other valuable community contributors.
A successful composite of a smart city begins with the adoption of a resident-cantered design approach. This approach focuses on tapping into the collective intelligence and real-time information of the people in the community and allows for the ability to understand the diverse perspectives of the people who live, work and play in the cities every day. Resident-cantered thinking revolves around the idea that it is the residents that create the city, not the other way around. This approach holds even greater value in today's Covid -19 ravaged world when we are seeing an increased focus on the role of local neighbourhoods in helping the community deal with mobility issues, accessibility, social disconnection, and economic downturn.
During the early spread of the deadly virus, many cities protected themselves by closing their borders. That, unfortunately, led to different levels of isolation and disconnection. With their moderate technologies and normally self-sustainable entertainment, the thrill and vitality of cities disappeared and were replaced with deep feelings of loss, communal grief, depression, fear, and uncertainty for the future. Many countries were pushed to the brink of economic downturn and others suffered economic stagnancies. Organizations began to lay off workers and small businesses were forced to close their doors. It seems no country was spared damage.
Several city governments adapted technologies to develop new solutions and make existing solutions work faster, with better quality and accuracy, at less cost. Chicago, for example, uses anonymized cell phone data to analyze travel patterns and identify whether residents are staying home and self-isolating. Some countries are using robotics to help residents combat the coronavirus. Sanitizing robots, temperature monitoring robots, food and grocery delivering robots and autonomous vehicles are all becoming common sights in many cities. Drones are even being used by city managers and governments to communicate social distancing rules and health updates. Drones even have the ability to safely deliver supplies to patients and healthcare facilities. In many cities of the world, they are even being used to spray disinfectant to stop the spread of Covid -19.
Once the pandemic subsides, this drone technology can be used to lessen the likelihood of other disease outbreaks, like malaria, and even help farmers increase their crops. Improving one area of concern has the potential to improve the quality of life in another. These kinds of initiatives have shown us ways in which urban mobility could change in the future, potentially reducing congestion and improving air quality. They also make it clear that in response to the ravages of the deadly virus, smart cities have presented us with the chance to improve sustainability and re-enact connection. Developing communal infrastructure digitalization, resuscitation, and re-invigoration of economic stagnancy will lead to smart governments recovering quickly and that same rapid response could be used to neutralize any future pandemics.
At this critical moment in time, the best thing we can do is respond to disruption with innovation. Placing the human experience first and investing in digital infrastructures and innovative solutions will enable us to create a more dynamic and resilient future. Policymakers with even a minimal capacity for funding a smart city must invest in them. They will not only improve lives now-they will greatly affect future ones as well.

(Mr. Mehedi is a senior tech professional currently working with Huawei Technologies in Dubai, UAE).

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