Connected City: Problems and Prospects

The population of city dwellers is increasing across the globe, exerting an immense pressure on existing resources and infrastructures. To accommodate the growing urban population, governments across the globe are devoting a significant amount of resources for building roads, buildings, and transportation systems.

But still, many cities are suffering from the lack of basic amenities. All these have prompted city planners and governments to come up with the concept of connected and smart city. The term connected city is generally used to mean a more efficient, functional, accessible, and inclusive city.

A connected city will use connected devices in order to change the way city dwellers work, commute, and even spend their leisure time. For example, many cities have already adopted smart traffic lights that can automatically adjust timing to maintain a smooth flow of traffic.

Likewise, technologies such as wearable devices, parking sensors, garbage sensors, and sensors to monitor air quality are slowly becoming a part of modern cities to make them smarter and thereby, improve the quality of life of city dwellers. So, digital technologies are going to play a key role in making cities connected.

For the people living in cities, all these will eventually translate into quicker responses from law enforcement agencies and public utility providers, better public transportation, and efficient energy consumption. Connected devices can not only save time and efforts of municipalities but their expenses as well.

However, it is important to weigh the benefits against the costs of installing these devices so that the most feasible and suitable technology is incorporated. Other factors to be taken into account while prioritizing the use of technologies are the size of the population and the most demanding needs of the population.  

However, the greatest challenge before connected and smart cities will be data security or data privacy. The storage of the huge volume of data generated by connected devices will be another big problem. Finally, to make sense out of the enormous volume of data, connected cities will require IoT analytics. Without analytics, it won’t be possible to understand the data and identify the patterns, in order to get critical insights from the data collected by connected devices. So, a city in order to become connected and smart in its true sense will need a proper system in place to address all these challenges.

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