Smart or Connected cities is an exciting new strategy. Ascension and one of our premier clients have been involved in new initiatives. The other day, when attending a technology leadership summit, a colleague and I were pontificating on the disparate nomenclatures involved with smart cities. It reminded both of us of the confusion during the beginning of the World Wide Web days. As I was querying my phone for definitions, I, as a matter of course, looked a Wikipedia for a primer to the question. I found that 2 of the 4 frameworks, listed, we very helpful in providing a baseline understanding “Smart Cities” and the relationship to humans.
Directly from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_city July 17th, 2018
Several concepts of the Smart city rely heavily on the use of technology; a technological Smart City is not just one concept but there are different combinations of technological infrastructure that build a concept of smart city.
- Digital city: it combines service oriented infrastructure, innovation services and communication infrastructure; Yovanof, G. S. & Hazapis, G. N. define a digital city “a connected community that combines broadband communications infrastructure; a flexible, service-oriented computing infrastructure based on open industry standards; and, innovative services to meet the needs of governments and their employees, citizens and businesses”.
The main purpose is to create an environment in which citizens are interconnected and easily share information anywhere in the city.
- Virtual city: In these kinds of cities functions are implemented in a cyberspace; it includes the notion of hybrid city, which consists of a reality with real citizens and entities and a parallel virtual city of real entities and people. Having a smart city that is virtual means that in some cities it is possible the coexistence between these two reality, however the issue of physical distance and location is still not easy to manage. The vision of the world without distance still remains unmet in many ways. In practice this idea is hold up through physical IT infrastructure of cables, data centers, and exchanges.
- Information city: It collects local information and delivered them to the public portal; In that city, many inhabitants are able to live and even work on the Internet because they could obtain every information through IT infrastructures, thanks to the sharing information method among citizens themselves. Using this approach, an information city could be an urban centre both economically and socially speaking; the most important thing is the linkage among civic services, people interactions and government institutions.
- Intelligent city: it involves function as research or technological innovation to support learning and innovation procedure. The notion emerges in a social context in which knowledge, learning process and creativity have great importance and the human capital is considered the most precious resource within this type of technological city. In particular one of the most significant feature of an intelligent city is that every infrastructure is up to date, that means have the latest technology in telecommunications, electronic and mechanical technology. According to Komninos and Sefertzi, the attempt to build an “intelligent” Smart City is more a radical innovation rather than an incremental innovation owing to a big quantity of efforts to use IT trying to transform the daily life.
- Ubiquitous city (U-city): It creates an environment that connect citizens to any services through any device. According to Anthopoulos, L., & Fitsilis, P., U-city is a further extension of digital city concept because of the facility in terms of accessibility to every infrastructure. This makes easier to the citizen the use of any available devices to interconnect them. Its goal is to create a city where any citizen can get any services anywhere and anytime through any kind of devices. It is important to highlights that the ubiquitous city is different from the above virtual city: while the virtual city creates another space by visualizing the real urban elements within the virtual space, U-city is given by the computer chips inserted to those urban elements.
- Cognitive Smart City: Cognitive smart city expands the concept of the smart city by referring to the convergence of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city technologies, their generated big data, and artificial intelligence techniques. Continuous learning through human interactions and consequently performing a dynamic and flexible behavior and actions based on the dynamic environment of the city are the core components of such framework.
Human infrastructure (i.e., creative occupations and workforce, knowledge networks, voluntary organisations) is a crucial axis for city development.
- Creative city: creativity is recognized as a key driver to smart city and it represents also a version of it. Social infrastructures, like for instance intellectual and social capital are indispensable factors to build a city that is smart according to the human framework. These infrastructures concern people and their relationship. Smart City benefits from social capital and it could be possible and easier to create a Smart city concept if there are mix of education and training, culture and arts, business and commerce as Bartlett, L. said.
- Learning city: according to Moser, M. A., learning city is involved in building skilled workforce. This type of city in the human context improves the competitiveness in the global knowledge economy and Campbell  established a typology of cities that are learning to be smart: individually proactive city, city cluster, one-to-one link between cities, and city network. That lead a city to learn how it should be possible and realistic to be smart through learning process followed by city workforce.
- Humane city: It exploits human potential, in particular the knowledge workforce. Following this approach, it is possible focus on education and builds a center of higher education, which is the city, obtaining better-educated individuals. According to Glaeser, E. L., & Berry, C. R, this view moves a smart city concept in a city full of skilled workforces; the same reasoning could be make for those high tech knowledge-sensitive industries which want to migrate in a so dynamic and proactive community. As a consequence of the above movement, the difference between Smart City and not are getting wider; Smart places are getting smarter while other places getting less smarter because such places act as a magnet for creative people and workers (Malanga, S. 2004 ).
- Knowledge city: It is related to knowledge economy and innovation process; this type of Smart City is very similar to a learning city, the only difference refers to “a knowledge city is heavily related to knowledge economy, and its distinction is stress on innovation” (Dirks, S., Gurdgiev, C., & Keeling, M.).
The concept of knowledge city is linked with similar evolving concepts of Smart City such as intelligent city and educating city. The most important feature of this city is the fundamental concept of knowledge-based urban development, which has become an important and widespread mechanism for the development of knowledge cities.
We live in exciting times 😉
One thought on “Connected Cities”