How smart is your home? If it’s anything lượt thích mine, it’s a heck of a lot smarter than it was 10 or even five years ago. That’s because our homes are now stocked with intelligent devices, lượt thích smart thermostats, smart speakers, and smart lightbulbs. But the trend for intelligent spaces extends far beyond our homes. All around the world, entire cities are also becoming smart.

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A smart thành phố is one that leverages giải pháp công nghệ to increase efficiencies & improve the unique of services & life for its residents. Smart thành phố initiatives can cover anything from power distribution, transport systems, street lights, & even rubbish collection. The idea is to lớn use data & technology lớn make everyday life easier & better for the people who live và work in the city, while maximizing the use of resources.

More and more of us are living in cities – the UN predicts that 68 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050. Và this means our cities are facing growing environmental, societal, & economic challenges. By making cities smarter, we can overcome some of these challenges and make cities better places to live. One report by Mc
Kinsey Global Institute found smart thành phố technology can improve key quality of life indicators – such as the daily commute, health issues, or crime incidents – by 10 lớn 30 percent.

This is all possible thanks to a "perfect storm" of technology trends – trends that allow us to create spaces in which humans & technology interact in a more connected, intelligent, and automated way. Think of trends such as artificial intelligence, big data, the internet of Things (Io
T), & autonomous vehicles. Combined, advances like these are changing the world & how we live in it. Our cities are no exception.

How technology is changing cities


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I’ve written before about smart city initiatives in my home town of Milton Keynes, but let’s look at some other examples of cities getting smarter:

1. Keeping traffic flowing

Traffic is the bane of many a city-dweller"s life, but công nghệ offers some promising solutions. For example, public transport routes can be adjusted in real-time according to lớn demand, và intelligent traffic light systems can be used to lớn improve congestion. In the Chinese city of Hangzhou, an AI-based smart “City Brain” has helped to lớn reduce traffic jams by 15 percent.

2. Using đô thị resources more efficiently

Mobile and broadband company Telefonica has been investing heavily in smart city technology in its home country, Spain. In one example, sensors are attached to lớn refuse containers lớn report, in real-time, how full they are – which means refuse collectors don"t have lớn waste time traveling khổng lồ bins that are only half-full. It also means KPIs can be more closely tied to bottom-line impact, such as how many bins are close lớn overflowing & won"t be emptied within the next few hours. This is far more meaningful than measuring abstract factors, lượt thích how many waste collection trucks are out on the road.

3. Improving energy efficiency

As well as investing in clean energy sources, smart cities also use technology to help closely monitor real-time energy use & reduce energy consumption. For example, in Amsterdam, homes are being provided with smart energy meters that are designed to lớn incentivize reduced energy consumption, and the thành phố of Schenectady, thủ đô new york is upgrading its street lights lớn LED technology, which allows the lights to lớn be adjusted or dimmed based on real-time data.

4. Making cities safer

Thanks to the vast spread of Wi-Fi connectivity, Io
T technologies, và CCTV cameras, cities are able khổng lồ harness công nghệ to improve resident safety & boost incident response times. In New Orleans, for example, real-time video clip data from Bourbon Street is analyzed in order to lớn better track and allocate resources on the ground, & improve public safety.

5. Encouraging greater collaboration with citizens

One of the really exciting things about smart đô thị technology is that it encourages residents lớn get more involved. Common examples include apps that allow citizens lớn report local issues more easily, or community networking platforms that allow neighbors to connect & share resources. In another example, a low-cost environmental testing kit is encouraging residents to collect local environmental data. The Smart Citizen Kit can be placed in locations like balconies & windowsills lớn gather data on the local environment, including air pollution và noise. The data is streamed to an online platform, effectively creating a crowdsourced maps of data from all over the world.

This move towards intelligent spaces & smart places is just one of 25 technology trends that I believe will transform our society. Read more about these key trends – including plenty of real-world examples – in my new book, Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 Technologies That Are Driving The 4th Industrial Revolution.

Jonathan Woetzel Jaana Remes Brodie Boland Katrina Lv Suveer Sinha Gernot Strube John Means Jonathan Law Andres Cadena Valerie von der Tann
As cities get smarter, they are becoming more livable & more responsive—and today we are seeing only a preview of what công nghệ could eventually vị in the urban environment.

Until recently, thành phố leaders thought of smart technologies primarily as tools for becoming more efficient behind the scenes. Now công nghệ is being injected more directly into the lives of residents. Smartphones have become the keys lớn the city, putting instant information about transit, traffic, health services, safety alerts, & community news into millions of hands.

After a decade of trial and error, municipal leaders are realizing that smart-city strategies start with people, not technology. “Smartness” is not just about installing digital interfaces in traditional infrastructure or streamlining city operations. It is also about using technology & data purposefully to make better decisions và deliver a better unique of life.

Quality of life has many dimensions, from the air residents breathe khổng lồ how safe they feel walking the streets. The latest report from the Mc
Kinsey Global Institute (MGI), Smart cities: Digital solutions for a more livable future (PDF–6MB), analyzes how dozens of digital applications address these kinds of practical and very human concerns. It finds that cities can use smart technologies lớn improve some key quality-of-life indicators by 10 khổng lồ 30 percent—numbers that translate into lives saved, fewer crime incidents, shorter commutes, a reduced health burden, & carbon emissions averted.


What makes a đô thị smart?

Smart cities put data và digital giải pháp công nghệ to work khổng lồ make better decisions and improve the quality of life. More comprehensive, real-time data gives agencies the ability khổng lồ watch events as they unfold, understand how demand patterns are changing, & respond with faster và lower-cost solutions.

Three layers work together to lớn make a smart đô thị hum (Exhibit 1). First is the giải pháp công nghệ base, which includes a critical mass of smartphones and sensors connected by high-speed communication networks. The second layer consists of specific applications. Translating raw data into alerts, insight, and kích hoạt requires the right tools, and this is where công nghệ providers & app developers come in. The third layer is usage by cities, companies, and the public. Many applications succeed only if they are widely adopted và manage to change behavior. They encourage people to lớn use transit during off-hours, to change routes, to lớn use less energy và water và to vì so at different times of day, và to reduce strains on the healthcare system through preventive self-care.



Smart-city technologies have substantial unrealized potential lớn improve the urban chất lượng of life

MGI assessed how smart-city applications could affect various quality-of-life dimensions: safety, time & convenience, health, environmental quality, social connectedness and civic participation, jobs, and the cost of living (see interactive). The wide range of outcomes reflects the fact that applications perform differently from thành phố to city, depending on factors such as legacy infrastructure systems and on baseline starting points.

Applications can help cities fight crime and improve other aspects of public safety

Deploying a range of applications to lớn their maximum effect could potentially reduce fatalities (from homicide, road traffic, & fires) by 8 to 10 percent. In a high-crime city with a population of five million, this could mean saving up khổng lồ 300 lives each year. Incidents of assault, robbery, burglary, and tự động hóa theft could be lowered by 30 to lớn 40 percent. On vị trí cao nhất of these metrics are the incalculable benefits of giving residents freedom of movement & peace of mind.

Technology is not a quick fix for crime, but agencies can use data to deploy scarce resources and personnel more effectively. Real-time crime mapping, for instance, utilizes statistical analysis khổng lồ highlight patterns, while predictive policing goes a step further, anticipating crime to head off incidents before they occur. When incidents vì chưng occur, applications such as gunshot detection, smart surveillance, and trang chủ security systems can accelerate law-enforcement response. But data-driven policing has lớn be deployed in a way that protects civil liberties và avoids criminalizing specific neighborhoods or demographic groups.

Seconds count when lives are at stake, making tốc độ critical for first responders in getting khổng lồ the scene of emergencies. Smart systems can optimize gọi centers và field operations, while traffic-signal preemption gives emergency vehicles a clear driving path. These types of applications could cut emergency response times by 20 to 35 percent. A đô thị with an already low response time of eight minutes could shave off almost two minutes. A thành phố starting with an average response time of 50 minutes might be able lớn trim that by more than 17 minutes.

Smart-city technologies can make daily commutes faster & less frustrating

Tens of millions of people in cities worldwide begin và end every workday fuming in traffic or piling into overcrowded buses và trains. Improving the daily commute is critical to unique of life.

By 2025, cities that deploy smart-mobility applications have the potential to cut commuting times by 15 to trăng tròn percent on average, with some people enjoying even larger reductions. The potential associated with each application is highly variable, depending on each city’s density, existing transit infrastructure, and commuting patterns. In a dense thành phố with extensive transit, smart technologies could save the average commuter almost 15 minutes a day. In a developing thành phố with more grueling commutes, the improvement might be 20 to 30 minutes every day.

In general, cities with extensive, well-used transit systems benefit from applications that streamline the experience for riders. Using digital signage or smartphone apps khổng lồ deliver real-time information about delays enables riders lớn adjust their routes on the fly. Installing Io
T sensors on existing physical infrastructure can help crews fix problems before they turn into breakdowns & delays.

Applications that ease road congestion are more effective in cities where driving is prevalent or where buses are the primary mode of transit. Intelligent syncing of traffic signals has the potential khổng lồ reduce average commutes by more than 5 percent in developing cities where most people travel by bus. Real-time navigation alerts drivers to lớn delays and helps them choose the fastest route. Smart-parking apps point them directly khổng lồ available spots, eliminating time spent fruitlessly circling đô thị blocks.

Cities can be catalysts for better health

The sheer mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa of cities makes them critical although currently underutilized platforms for addressing health. Recognizing that the role of giải pháp công nghệ in healthcare is broad & evolving by the day, we analyze only digital applications that offer cities room khổng lồ play a role. We quantify their potential impact on disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), the primary metric used by the World Health Organization to convey the global disease burden, reflecting not only years of life lost lớn early death but also productive and healthy life lost to lớn disability or incapacity. If cities deploy the applications included in our analyses khổng lồ their fullest effect, we see the potential lớn reduce DALYs by 8 to lớn 15 percent.

Applications that help prevent, treat, và monitor chronic conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, could make the biggest difference in the developed world. Remote-patient-monitoring systems have the potential khổng lồ reduce the health burden in high-income cities by more than 4 percent. These systems use digital devices lớn take vital readings, then transmit them securely to doctors in another location for assessment. This data can alert both patient & doctor when early intervention is needed, heading off complications & hospitalizations.

Cities can use data & analytics to identify demographic groups with elevated risk profiles & target interventions more precisely. So-called m
Health interventions can send out lifesaving messages about vaccinations, sanitation, safe sex, & adherence lớn antiretroviral therapy regimens. In low-income cities with high infant-mortality rates, data-based interventions focused on maternal & child health alone could reduce DALYs by more than 5 percent. Another 5 percent reduction is possible if developing cities use infectious-disease surveillance systems to stay a step ahead of fast-moving epidemics. Telemedicine, which provides clinical consultations by videoconference, can also be lifesaving in low-income cities with doctor shortages.

Smart cities can deliver a cleaner & more sustainable environment

As urbanization, industrialization, & consumption grow, environmental pressures multiply. Applications such as building-automation systems, dynamic electricity pricing, and some mobility applications could combine khổng lồ cut emissions by 10 to 15 percent.

Water-consumption tracking, which pairs advanced metering with digital feedback messages, can nudge people toward conservation and reduce consumption by 15 percent in cities where residential water usage is high. In many parts of the developing world, the biggest source of water waste is leakage from pipes. Deploying sensors và analytics can cut those losses by up to lớn 25 percent. Applications such as pay-as-you-throw digital tracking can reduce the volume of solid waste per capita by 10 to đôi mươi percent. Overall, cities can save 25 to lớn 80 liters of water per person each day & reduce unrecycled solid waste by 30 to 130 kilograms per person annually.

Air-quality sensors vì chưng not automatically address the causes of pollution, but they can identify the sources và provide the basis for further action. Beijing reduced deadly airborne pollutants by roughly trăng tròn percent in less than a year by closely tracking the sources of pollution và regulating traffic and construction accordingly. Sharing real-time air-quality information with the public via điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh apps enables individuals to lớn take protective measures. This can reduce negative health effects by 3 to lớn 15 percent, depending on current pollution levels.

Smart cities can create a new type of digital urban commons and enhance social connectedness

Community is hard to lớn quantify, but MGI surveyed urban residents lớn determine if digital channels for communicating with local officials as well as digital platforms that facilitate real-world interactions (such as Meetup and Nextdoor) can have an impact. Our analysis suggests that using these types of applications could nearly double the chia sẻ of residents who feel connected to lớn the local community, and nearly triple the tóm tắt who feel connected lớn local government.

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Establishing channels for two-way communication between the public và local agencies could make đô thị governments more responsive. Many đô thị agencies maintain an active presence on social networks, và others have developed their own interactive citizen apps. In addition to disseminating information, these channels create vehicles for residents khổng lồ report concerns, collect data, or weigh in on planning issues. Paris has implemented a participatory budget, inviting anyone to post project ideas and then holding online votes khổng lồ decide which ones merit funding.