What is a “smart city”? In fact, this is a universal integrated information support system that performs two main functions:
- provides key information to all levels of the city executive;
- provides feedback interfaces through which the executive may influence certain areas of urban life falling within its area of responsibility.
The concept of a smart city should be based on technological sophistication, intellectualization, and the lifestyle of citizens.
Among the priority industries that need intellectual modernization are public administration, the infrastructure of the city and the economy
What is its use?
First, the implementation of this concept unambiguously improves the quality of life of the population of the region, or, as now it has become fashionable to call it, a life quality experience.
Secondly, this is a reduction in the cost of operating the infrastructure by automating the routine processes of urban management and creating means of objective control over the work of city services. In the current tough economic conditions, accompanied by a reduction in the amount of money, including in the housing and utilities sector, the optimization of current processes is perhaps the most popular solution.
Naturally, to implement this concept, a number of technologies and solutions based on these technologies are needed to realize the “smart city” from a technical point of view.
There are four basic elements in the technological structure of the “smart city”, namely:
- Internet of things, the technological concept of which allows you to collect the necessary information from objects and provides feedback to them;
- Data transfer infrastructure that links applications to urban infrastructure;
- Data analysis systems that make it possible to extract useful information from a large amount of data;
- System of aggregation and unification of data, designed to streamline and synchronize huge data flows.
To date, two global processes are clearly visible, which have the spread of “smart cities”.
The first of these is the growth of the urban population with all the ensuing consequences. Today, more than 60% of the world’s population lives in cities, and the trend to increase the number of people in cities continues. For example, in terms of the population, Moscow is about three Finland and about one and a half Czechs. At the same time, cities today create up to 70% of the world’s gross product, that is, in other words, up to 70% of the world economy is located in cities. It is hardly possible to effectively manage such a huge economy without using high-tech tools. Therefore, today all large agglomerations are engaged in the implementation of the concept of Smart City. With varying levels of preparedness, examples of projects for building “smart cities” are in all parts of the world without exception.
The second process, perhaps even more important than the first, is the search for new sources of income at the next stage of technological development. In essence, the introduction of “smart city” is a big and profitable business. According to the classical matrix of BCG (Boston Consulting Group), the development of the niche of “smart cities” is the launch of a new “cash cow”, which in the next few years will bring a big profit to the IT industry.
According to the functions of the Internet of things and the infrastructure of data transmission, everything is more or less clear, but about the presence of data processing platforms in the described technological basis, let’s say separately.
Obviously, the information flow in “smart city” systems is huge and most of the information is actually duplicated, and even not at all valuable. And the data management systems play a crucial role: you need to correctly filter and cluster the data, analyze and identify dependencies – this determines the correctness of the forecast and the accuracy of the response to the events that occur.
With all the prospects for the solution, there are a number of reasons that prevent the explosive development of “smart cities”. And many companies are interested in overcoming these obstacles because they see the future in the development of “smart cities”.
For example, developed a universal gateway with a large number of wired and wireless interfaces, which performs work to collect and normalize data from disparate sources.
Another reason that is a “stopper” for the development of “smart cities” is the lack of a platform capable of working with really large data. The information flow of the smart city is very demanding on the performance of the systems that process this information.
To this problem, companies are also developing smart systems that can cope with this problem (for example, Fusion Incint from Huawei Company).