We have a challenge. The United Nations estimates that by 2050 the world’s population is likely to double to approximately 9.7 billion people. You are probably asking yourself some of these questions:
- What to do in the face of such a growth?
- Are our cities and municipalities prepared to take on this increase?
- What role does technology play in all this, and what about Geographic Information Systems?
First of all, what is a smart city?
Yes, technology has something or a lot to say in this area, and thanks to it, administrations, companies and citizens have within our reach the tools to successfully reach the goal of urban efficiency and sustainability. To achieve this, however, we will need an ally: the smart city concept.
Smart cities or intelligent cities are urban spaces that apply Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the quality of life and accessibility of all their inhabitants for the sake of a social, economic and environmental development in permanent evolution.
Elements of the urban environment and their smart management in Smart Cities
Fortunately, more and more projects are linking smart cities and the management of the urban environment. How? Through smart initiatives that favour sustainability, optimisation and resource savings, all through GIS or Geographic Information Systems.
We start by talking about energy, with a special focus on public lighting systems. Did you know that responsible management can help reduce light pollution, use environmentally sustainable luminaires and save up to 30% on energy bills?
And what about sanitation and drinking water networks? We must make responsible use of the water resources that make up homes and cities, especially nowadays, with drought and climate change drawing ever closer, in a context in which up to 16% of water fit for human consumption is wasted every year in breakdowns.
Similarly, another of the basic urban services that integrate smart cities is mobility management for both public and private transport. The objective? To promote the sustainable transformation of each of these agents in order to achieve and implement connected, time-efficient and safe mobility networks for all citizens.
Nature needs us, she has given everything for us, and it is our turn and our duty to give back a little of what she has given us, especially now, with the wave of fires that has ravaged our forests. It is therefore vital that we manage the green areas around us properly: public waterways, woodlands, urban parks and municipal gardens.
And let us not forget the collection, transport and management of solid urban waste, in a scenario in which, as the population and its economic development increase, so does the amount of waste generated.
How does GIS technology help?
You know, as we have told you on previous occasions, that we are surrounded by data: in the management of public lighting, through sensors that regulate our movements in urban environments, in the collection and recycling of waste…
Data that need technology to properly serve the purpose of smart cities, that of improving our quality of life. This is where GIS software takes on special relevance, enabling, among many other aspects, more advanced urban planning, greater public safety, as well as more interactive administrative management.
What Smart City needs does the technology meet?
What advantages do we gain from the implementation of the urban services inventory? Not only are there cost savings, which we will not deny is also important.
Smart city gis solutions provide a response to an infinite number of pressing needs, such as better accessibility for users who suffer from some kind of disability, immediacy in the resolution of breakdowns or administrative procedures, rational use of resources or the essential and obligatory protection of the privacy of our data.