Smart City: there is intelligent life (and administration) in cities Back
Cities have never been more populous. To get an idea, in 1950, the decade in which Valid was born, the world population was around 2.6 billion. According to the UN, today there are 7.3 billion of us - half of whom live in urban areas.
These figures show the size of the challenge facing public administration these days. With so many people concentrated in metropoles, traffic, pollution, sanitation, healthcare, housing, and other issues have become major problems. There’s no need to go into detail here on the impact on citizens’ lives - we are all witnesses to this chaos.
As a solution for the sustainable growth of cities, especially for the quality of life of their citizens, the “Smart City” concept has arisen. This is not some sort of campaign promise - a smart city uses technology to make its key processes more efficient - something that is already done in the corporate world.
Considered as the world’s first Smart City, Songdo, South Korea is a benchmark in urban planning. A wireless network monitors its traffic lights, traffic flows, proper garbage disposal, public transportation, and other services that are part of the smart public administration. Administrators keep an eye on the city’s pulse and decision-making processes over the Internet. But Songdo started from zero. The city has been under development since 2004; in other words, everything was planned for it to be modern and structured.
Tokyo, London, New York, Zurich and Paris are the top 5 cities in the IESE Business School’s “Cities in Motion Index,” which measures the degree of “intelligence” of cities. Regions offering their citizens more attractive public spaces make for healthier and more prosperous lives. The factors taken into account were economy, environment, international outreach, social cohesiveness, public administration, urban planning, technology, mobility and transportation, human capital and governance.
Researchers drew the conclusion that there is no single model for success. Changes in public administration take time, and large projects, like process atomization, generally take a long time due to their high level of impact. That’s why cities that wish to become more sustainable, and smarter, need to adopt long-term public policies as soon as possible.
Written by Márcio Bastos
Commercial Superintendent, Identity Solutions