Many cities around the world are facing issues about waste, safety, and security, access to services and education, congestion… The technological development of this last decade created a new intercommunication thanks to the connected tools; new data are collected about the efficiency and atmosphere of our cities. This gives us the opportunity to learn how are functioning the most successful cities and stop reproducing the same mistakes. Digital technologies can help towns and cities deliver services more cost effectively, improving the planning, design, and delivery of transport, infrastructure, and buildings to create healthy, sustainable, resilient and prosperous places.
The city wi-fi is essential for a connected city, according to a research made by Iconic Displays, 75% of people say 1 week without Wi-Fi would leave them grumpier than 1 week without coffee. In Paris, they register 80000 connections a month, it gives to visitors and citizens access to all the information they need to enjoy the city and use it efficiently but apparently it is mostly used by students and workers which want to stay reachable and be in touch with their network at any time of the day. It gives the opportunity to the users to be always connected to their environment and make the city more enjoyable. Also, it gives the possibility to the government to answer to citizens needs faster and improve the management of infrastructures.
Sensors systems are also becoming majors tools of efficient cities. In Europe, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Barcelona are currently using sensors to test air quality, noise, traffic or waste. Using those technologies permits those cities to optimize their resources, inform the local services and citizens about the environment conditions. The control of those data gives the possibility to increase security, minimize all the kind of pollution and, as well as the free access to the internet, make the city more enjoyable for everybody. In Dublin, it is hoped that both the data provided from this as well as real-time traffic information provided by Dublin City Council will give residents the opportunity to shape the way the city is developed. The president of Intel, Renée James said that the project can “be a global reference for how technologies might transform cities”. Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan welcomed the project saying it would help improve the quality of life in the city.
Furthermore, citizens networks are the key to the connected city. It is the most efficient way for the government to get suggestions and ideas from their people. Using crowdfunding or collective awareness platforms. For example, in Boston, the mayor gives the opportunity to citizens to observe and report problems on the phone application Street Bump. It is giving a chance for people to get involved in the future of the city, as in New York, where citizens, thanks to crowdfunding, got the chance to restore the Highline by themselves and decide how they wanted it to be.
To conclude, connected cities are about giving access, collect data and involve citizens using the digital tools. Those tools have to use for a social purpose to imagine,
define and create our futures cities.