As a child, I watched re-runs of The Jetsons, an animated sitcom imagining city life several centuries into the future. Filled with automated appliances and flying cars, the cartoon gave me a boundless imagination of what cities could be.
As we enter into the second decade of the 21st century, city living is more popular than ever. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, all but one of the 20 largest cities in the U.S. experienced population growth in 2016. With the exception of New York City, the 15 cities that had the greatest population growth were in the southern and western portions of the country.
While American cities may not yet be what The Jetsons were, the opportunity of digital transformation is transforming urban hubs into technology centers. Dubbed “Smart Cities”, these urban centers use Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as connected sensors, lights, and meters to collect and analyze data. The cities then use this data to improve infrastructure, public utilities and services, and more.
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Here are some additional ideas that cities can use to optimize operations and create a livable space:
- Smart Architecture and Infrastructure: Building managers throughout the world are more frequently looking to incorporate IoT devices and solutions into their infrastructures in order to reduce costs and improve the quality of their buildings. With increasing familiarity of IoT in the construction industry, there is massive potential in the future to improve lighting, energy usage, and resource conservation.
- Application Development: Government is notorious for being slow, but it doesn’t have to be. In recent years, many locales have been rolling out mobile applications that allow citizens to connect with government services. Instead of having to stand in line, citizens can hop on their phones to handle their affairs.
- Digital Experience: If citizens want to communicate with their politicians, the common thread is to show up to a city council meeting. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to offer public comment on government schedule. For larger cities, creating a digital experience platform where citizens can offer ideas is a great way to bring back civic engagement.
As a citizen of your city, how do you imagine integrating technology into everyday operations? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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