Smart City: Modern concepts & innovative technology for our future cities

Smart homes are already on everyone's lips, with many people using intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to control a wide range of different appliances and lighting in their household and thus improve their overall quality of life. However, the benefits of digitization and the IoT can be felt beyond the private sphere in the public sphere too. The concept of the smart city is becoming increasingly important in urban development. The following article answers the most important questions about Smart Cities.

Definition: What is meant by the term 'Smart City'? 

Smart City is a collective term used to summarize strategic concepts for the comprehensive digitization of our cities. The vision behind this is to make the city of the future more modern, efficient, sustainable, safe, and livable with the help of technological innovations. In fact, the term smart city has already been used for around 20 years to bundle ideas for digital transformation in urban areas.

Why do we need smart cities? 

Smart cities are intelligent and connected solutions for the many challenges of our age. Our urban living spaces are undergoing profound change: more and more people are flocking to cities, while at the same time, society is getting older, both in Germany and elsewhere. The world's population is growing, and so is the demand for raw materials and energy. At the same time, we all need to effect a great shift toward greater sustainability and climate protection. This is a global task - but change is especially needed in these parts of metropolitan areas of the industrialized nations. Smart cities are one approach to responding to pressing problems while offering those people living in the city many advantages. 

For example, digital transformation gives citizens more scope for shaping their own lives. It gives them a degree of co-determination and ensures that the necessary resources are made available when and where they are needed. It promotes economic growth and thus makes cities even more attractive for companies and residents alike. At its core, the smart city is a vision that focuses on the common good. It puts people at the center and deploys technological innovations to offer real added value for life in cities. Smart Cities stand for progress that benefits everyone, which not only makes us more effective and resilient as a society but also advances us ecologically and socially.

In which areas should cities be digitized? 

Smart city strategies target many levels of public space and aim to shape the relationships between people, administration, politics, business, and science. The smart city thus takes a holistic approach. To be able to compare concepts and projects, different categories have been defined as follows:

  • Smart Economy: In the Smart City, the economy is integrated and networked at all levels to enable optimum knowledge transfer and high productivity. Thanks to digitization and new technologies, synergy effects are created that give the digital city a competitive advantage and thus attract new companies.
  • Smart People: Smart City citizens can help shape their city and actively participate in important decision-making processes. Examples of smart people projects include car-sharing networks, urban gardening or digital neighborhood platforms, as well as opportunities to share specific information with the city administration or other residents - such as defective roads or tips for barrier-free train stations or dog-friendly parks.
  • Smart governance: Digital technologies enable authorities to offer citizen-centric city administration in smart cities. Residents can access services and administrative processes online without making appointments or waiting for long periods of time. In public safety and healthcare, the city government can also offer innovative digital services. Smart waste management, for example, equips trash cans with special sensors that check the capacity of the trash cans and call for collection when needed.
  • Smart mobility: Be it individual transportation or local public transport - modern concepts have been designed and integrated to make mobility even safer, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly. Here, too, car, or bike, sharing comes into play. But mobile apps for tickets or flexible route planning are also part of smart mobility. In the future, digital technologies will make roads smarter with networked systems monitoring traffic and reducing both accidents and congestion. The field of autonomous driving is also part of Smart Mobility.
  • Smart Environment: Climate change, the scarcity of raw materials, and the limits to economic growth are being addressed by sustainable urban development. For example, smart city concepts promote the regional circular economy and help to draw on sustainable resources and reduce the use of resources in general. In practice, this can be implemented through solar, thermal, and photovoltaic systems on the roofs of public buildings, for example.
  • Smart energy: The production, use, and intelligent control of renewable energies play a central role in smart cities. So-called smart grids are responsible for coordinating the consumption and production of this energy in a targeted manner. Decentralized, self-sufficient grids and modern storage technologies safeguard the city's energy security.
  • Smart Living: Here, the focus is on the individual quality of life of the residents. Smart solutions are particularly in demand in healthcare - digital health services and telemedicine are worth mentioning here. But intelligent technologies in-home care or recreational sports or culture are also part of life in the smart city.

What does the technological implementation of the smart city look like? 

The city of the future will require comprehensive IT infrastructure and smart city technology that encompasses processes, communication, services, and products. In terms of technological implementation, the smart city is based on three pillars:

  • Data: A wide range of sensor data is required to control all processes in urban areas - from information on traffic patterns to data on current electricity consumption.
  • Sensors: Sensors are used to collect the data. These are applied, for example, on roads to control traffic or on vehicles for autonomous driving.
  • Networking: To ensure that the collected data is available in real time, it is stored in a central cloud and can be accessed and processed by all networked receivers.

Are there some smart city model projects? 

The smart city has long been more than a vision of the future. Many modern technologies and new possibilities for digitization are already being used on a daily basis. People are already using smart apps to buy tickets for local transportation and finding free parking spaces with the help of digital parking guidance systems or charging stations. And, thanks to online citizen portals, they can file all kinds of paperwork and organize meetings very quickly via the Internet. As part of the "Smart Cities" model projects, the German government supports municipalities in digital urban development with subsidies via KfW and technical support from scientists and experts from various sectors. The support for smart city projects is now entering its third round. In 2021, a total of 28 cities from all over Germany were selected.

What is the Smart City Index? 

The Smart City Index is the ranking of the smartest major cities in Germany. With a Smart City Index of 88.1 points, Hamburg currently leads the ranking by some distance, followed by Cologne and Karlsruhe. The index is compiled by the digital association Bitkom, to which more than 2,500 German digital companies are affiliated. The overall Smart City Index score is made up of the ratings in five different categories:

  • Administration
  • Energy and environment
  • IT and communication
  • Mobility
  • Society

 
For each city, 133 parameters are collected by the Digital Association for the Smart City Index. All German cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants are included in the analysis.

Smart Cities: Our contribution to the city of tomorrow 

As a technology leader in the field of lidar sensors, Ibeo Automotive Systems shares the vision of the intelligently networked city of the future, where mobility is reinvented. With our technology, we aim to enable driver assistance systems and automated driving systems that make traffic safer, more comfortable, and more environmentally friendly. In total, we have over 400 employees working to achieve this goal - in Eindhoven (Netherlands), Detroit (USA), and in Hamburg, Germany's smartest city.

Das könnte Sie auch noch interessieren

03/2021

How sustainable are Ibeo’s Events?  

Climate change is ongoing. The events sector also contributes to this development because it is closely linked to the travel and hotel industries and, therefore, has a wide reach. In this post, Ibeo has analyzed how environmentally friendly events, in which we participated, are.

02/2022

Smart City: Modern concepts & innovative technology for our future cities. 

Smart homes are already on everyone's lips, with many people using intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to control a wide range of different appliances and lighting in their household and thus improve their overall quality of life. However, the benefits of digitization and the IoT can be felt beyond the private sphere in the public sphere too. The concept of the smart city is becoming increasingly important in urban development. The following article answers the most important questions about Smart Cities.

08/2021

The 5 stages of autonomous driving

Although the term "autonomous driving" is used so frequently, many people are not even aware of what is actually behind the designation. In this article, we highlight SAE's five levels of automated driving and show where we currently are on this scale.

The Ibeo newsletter: compact & interesting 

Subscribe now and keep up-to-date. 

By clicking ‘SIGNUP’ you consent to your personal data entered being used to send you information on relevant topics and specific publications of Ibeo. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. The withdrawal of consent will not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal.
You will find information about data protection in our privacy policy.