How Can We Create A Smart City?

First published on the blog of the Society of Internet Professionals (SIP).http://www.sipgroup.org/. SIP is a not-for-profit, Toronto (Canada) based International organization to connect, learn and share. Our Vision is to provide the opportunity to leverage technology to have an inclusive future for everyone.  Since 1997, SIP has spearheaded many initiatives, educational programs, and networking events

 

Futuristic city might be closer to becoming a daily life sooner than we think. There have been a great number of projects calling for the creation of smart-city. Although plans have shown big and at first instance easy to handle, many ran behind the schedule, lower their initial designs and involved lots more resources than planned. None was created so far, leaving us to ask for a better living, desiring to spend our work and leisure time in more affordable and environmentally friendly urban areas.

One project on creating the smart city which seems to approach its goals faster is promoted by the New York company Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet. The project is aimed to reshape the Toronto Waterfront former industrial area to successfully integrate state-of-the-art digital technology with advanced urban design. This Quayside project will build the whole Toronto neighbourhood from the bottom up while rethinking the urban strategies of affordable and good living in the same time making use of the latest high-tech.

The Quayside was announced in October 2017 and work is aimed to start in 2019. This ingenious project targets their decisions about policy, design, and application of technology on information from a broad and comprehensive network of sensors. They are designed to intensively collect data from a variety of sources, including people’s activities, noise levels, air quality, public infrastructure.

Sidewalk Labs intends to open access to the software and its own systems and then other companies would build services based on their infrastructure. This seems similar to building apps for mobile phones.

The design of the smart city includes daunting ideas such as all vehicles shared and autonomous. Underground robots will do different routine jobs like delivering the mail.  One of the key components of the rebuilding this urban area using innovative high-tech represents close monitoring of public infrastructure. While this could be intruding in data and privacy, the concerns can be alleviated by open communication and public support.

Sidewalk Labs firmly supports communication and open cooperation with the community and the local government to seamlessly make the transition from the current low-tech old infrastructure area to a thriving community embracing a combination of latest digital technologies and leading metropolitan design.

Sidewalk Labs’ executives also bank on Quayside project sense of humility backing the urban-systems planning. They believe that this humility may help the success of this project compared to others that doomed past smart-city initiatives.

One successful project certainly opens incredible avenues for more developments regarding neighbourhoods which base their living on continuous and progressive yet enlightened sensing.

 

Author: Cory Popescu

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