Underneath the tension of overpopulation, community core-cities seek new modes to maintain things in order. These innovative alternatives are wrapped in the modern smart city idea. A digitalized city adopts technology, IoT systems, connectivity and builds a wise network that collects and changes information to conquer the challenges raised by the urban environment. This gradually builds the necessary channels to incorporate different cities and finally, create smart territories. Additionally, the effects of COVID-19 in communities has brought to light serious issues regarding unequal living conditions. For that reason, Antonio Gutteres, general secretary of The United Nations, highlighted the need to make “equal, inclusive, and sustainable economies” in The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020.
Smart Cities around the globe
In November 2014 Singapore proclaimed its smart city program, naming it Smart Nation. That soon transformed the place into a magnet for urban planners, technology people, IT outsourcing providers, businesspeople around the world. The initiative promotes sustainability and livability through digitalization and technology. The recently adopted policies supported innovation in both the private and public sectors to be able to assist all levels of the community to benefit from the invention of new technologies. Singapore is also the first city in the world to start a system of this driverless taxi.
The Institute for Management Development has launch 2020’s Top Smart Cities on earth and for the second year, Singapore maintained the first place, followed by Helsinki and Zurich. The standing is made after the populations’ perception of life quality, in addition to economic conditions and technology usage.
The poll was based on questioning people from 109 countries about health care and security, mobility, activities, governance, and opportunities. The study also implied aspects regarding pandemic management, and most of the top smart cities which are managing it well are more tech oriented. On the flip side, top cities from prior years have dropped in graphs like Vienna or Prague, which appear to be more influenced by the Coronavirus.
Next level: Smart Territory
Although, the Smart Territory concept emerges as a complementary element for smart cities, paradoxically, its objective is to break the bubble. The electronic transformation of only certain cities may create development gaps in the land. It is no secret that rural areas usually benefit from services and capacities much later than urban areas. Often, the procedure is normal, as a result of a business conglomerate in large cities as well as the multiple opportunities that individuals can have here. Nevertheless, the larger plan suggests expanding the knowledge and advantages of smart cities to larger territories.
The strategy is very important
Shifting cross-territory policies and entering little societies where life is often maintained with particularities is a challenge. That’s why authorities and local governments need strategic projects that aim entire regions. As smart cities, an intelligent territory should also take into account all facets that unfold around a community: environment, infrastructure, education, health care system, security, communication. But most importantly, the way to link them to the urban systems.
Moreover, the plans rely on advanced strategies and frequently combine urban theories with traditional values. While attempting to raise life criteria also keeps the advantages of a simplified life through sustainable and greener alternatives for movement, energy, and other elements. Like a bioclimatic architecture that integrates the old and the new. The sustainable principles also stand – waste recycling, maintaining resources, reducing energy consumption.
Thinking about the fact that digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation are almost, the stages that mark the evolution of a city into a smart town, and afterwards on entire smart lands, there are a few simple yet arduous processes that can set things in motion:
- Digitizing public info and archives, to prevent useless bureaucracy Building infrastructure to facilitate mobility and link with urban areas
- Integrating and linking local health care systems to the urban ones
- Borrowing innovative ideas already employed in urban areas
- Building a Neighborhood administrative system that is connected to the central one but that also permits local ownership
Smart town, Smart Territory, Smart Future
The standardization, as we could call it, of cities, territories and whole counties may result in a smart potential in all aspects. The principal objectives are development, equal opportunities, and the same life quality for people across all territories. In the international context of the pandemic, the ignored factors and issues that use to be postponed from the settlement have surfaced and couldn’t be put apart. At the same time, the pressure of an unpredictable phenomenon has pushed technology beyond imagination. And as we can see, it is the major engine for placing communities in the movement towards a better and more sustainable lifestyle. Embracing it’s crucial.