The smart city can be both a literal and figurative description, sometimes within the same urban space, but without exception, it is a place where citizens have embraced digital technology as a leading part of a city’s future.
These cities will arise in many forms and by varying degrees, but the key principle is merging city services into one platform; services that have been historically disparate and inefficient can be interconnected and improved through digitization.
Some smart cities, such as Songdo, South Korea, and King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia, are early test beds for Internet-driven city services. Others, such as Barcelona, Hamburg, and Guayaquil, are becoming smarter gradually, bringing intelligence to their streets, utilities, education, and health infrastructures, and in some cases, creating brand-new districts that offer the full array of digital services. So while there is no single formula for successful digital modernization, ground has been broken on many new smart cities, and many more are planned in nations that desperately need them.
This book identifies the challenges of smart cities and then explores their design and implementation, illustrated by firsthand experiences. And while much of the literature on smart cities focuses on what happens in the West, important contributions to the emergence of smart and globally connected cities have been made by a couple of daring, ambitious new cities in emerging and newly emerged countries. These new smart cities engage high-tech industrial pioneers to provide the digital infrastructure, and companies such as Cisco are finding success providing the Internet “plumbing” in this age of massive digital expansion. The countries and cities explored in this book are perfect examples with which to trace the development of smart cities and analyze the lessons learned in making them work. This, in turn, forms the basis for the “Internet of Things” (IoT), a network that enables physical objects to collect and exchange data, and the “Internet of Everything” (IoE), a future wherein devices, appliances, people, and process are connected via the global Internet.
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