The primary goal of a smart city is to stimulate economic growth, improve city operations, and enhance the quality of life for citizens. A well-designed smart city is data-driven to streamline processes and create a safe, sustainable environment that meets the needs of the people who live and work within it. It addresses issues such as accessibility, healthcare, transportation, as well as minimizing waste and inconvenience.
Effective city planners and leaders understand that becoming a smart city is essential for attracting residents and businesses, and for fostering overall economic and social prosperity. And although every city has the capacity to drive transformation, the process varies from city to city based on factors such as size, population, and location. Although the path to a smart city is often ambiguous for many city leaders, there are some things that apply to cities nationwide.
Here are five things city leaders should keep in mind as they map out the road to a smarter city.
- First Things First
A long-term strategy requires a clear vision and understanding of the resources that will be required to ensure an effective, sustainable program. Before taking any action, municipal leaders should first assess the concerns and requirements of citizens and businesses. Leaders must ensure their initiatives align with the priorities of these stakeholders to solicit their support and help the program reach its full potential.
- Establish the Infrastructure
When it comes to smart cities, ‘infrastructure’ doesn’t just mean physical architecture anymore. Today’s foundational infrastructure includes all the layers necessary to implement smart initiatives. Cities need established infrastructure to support effective smart city transformation. This includes broadband systems, fiber optic cabling, fiber-less technologies, premium wireless infrastructure, and scalable systems. This infrastructure is critical for allowing the flood of connected devices to send and receive all the information they’re collecting in real-time, without interference.
- Invest in Technology
Digital innovation is progressing faster than ever, and cities that fail to adopt these technologies will lose out to more advanced metro areas when it comes to attracting businesses and residents. To accelerate digital transformation, city leaders should look to both internal teams and external technology partners and suppliers. Communications solutions and electrical infrastructure service providers such as Hylan take the guesswork out of establishing and optimizing smart city initiatives.
- Capitalize on 5G
Adopting next generation 5G wireless networks is a key factor in meeting the requirements of increasingly mobile residents and workforces. To relay massive amounts of data among connected devices and systems in near-real time will require 5G’s gigabit-per-second throughputs, extremely low latency, increase in base station capacity, and significantly improved quality of service (QoS), as compared to current 4G LTE networks. Relaying massive amounts of data among connected devices and systems will require 5G’s gigabit-per-second throughputs, which provides low latency, increased base station capacity, and significantly improved quality of service as compared to current 4G LTE networks.
- Leverage Multiple Data Points
Data is the driving force behind smart city technology, and cities need to ensure they are compiling, analyzing, and incorporating a wide range of data. Among the most common smart city applications are smart meters for utilities, intelligent street lighting and traffic signals, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensors that are embedded in pavement for monitoring road damage and traffic flow. Some cities are incorporating data into more advanced social initiatives such as public health. New York City, for example, analyzes how pollutants impact air quality in different neighborhoods using air quality monitors, mounted 10 to 12 feet off the ground on public light and utility poles.
Most city planners and leaders recognize that there are a combination of factors that go into making a smart city, and that it all begins with a well-developed infrastructure. Leaders with a deeper grasp of the necessary steps, the resources they’ll require and how to tie it all together are at the front of the pack on the road to building a smarter city.
Discover how Hylan helps city planners and municipal leaders make smart cities a reality by partnering with private companies and government agencies. Our teams build out the foundational infrastructure for smart cities to connect utilizing our decades of experience in both wireless and fiberless technologies.