Smart Cities: Examples, Pros & Cons, and More

Blue City Rotterdam

Blue City, smart city, Rotterdam

Our world is evolving at a rapid pace, and innovation seems to be happening daily. We are used to seeing a lot of modern cities while traveling. With the rise of the internet and smart technology, the applications for it increase as well. These days you can find just about everyone connected with a smart device, and even whole homes are designed around it. Just like out of an old science fiction story, the impossible is happening.

Now we are looking at entire cities that are connected via smart technology. Even just 20 years ago, this was something the average person wouldn’t have thought was just around the corner. Smart technology has changed the game, but is that always going to be a good thing?

Smart Cities on the Rise

There are more smart cities around the globe than the average person may think, and they are doing things that you wouldn’t even be aware of. Some of the most advanced smart cities in the world are as follows.

New York City, USA

New York is one of the world’s largest cities, boasting a population just shy of 9 million people. They have been ahead of the curve when talking about implementing smart technology for many years now and have major plans. One of the most interesting uses they have deployed is on the water system.

A city this size goes through a fantastic amount of water every year, and reading all of the meters was a huge undertaking. With smart technology, they have automated the meter reading process and allowed the average citizen to be more hands-on and focused on their water consumption.

Tokyo, Japan

The Asian-Pacific region has a love for technology and adapting it in new and innovative ways. Tokyo has had its fair share of technological booms, and they were one of the first to start implementing smart technology throughout the city. The entire city has always had a feeling like it was ahead of its time with the atmosphere alone.

Some of the more interesting uses they have for a smart connected city have been put in place due to the upcoming Olympic Games. Security around the city is backed by biometric authentication, like facial recognition. They are also deploying an entire fleet of driverless taxis connected directly to the traffic system.

The Sky’s the Limit

It is amazing how far some of these smart cities have come in such a short time, and there is no limit to what can be implemented. Traffic has been affected by this innovation, with cities worldwide using it to make their traffic lights as efficient as possible. The tech will adapt when there are variables thrown in, such as an accident, and keep traffic flowing.

The eventual goal is to have everybody in self-driving smart cars on smart roads and highways that take out the human factor. Smart technology can take human-made errors out of the driving equation, making roads much safer for everyone. Minimizing traffic accidents is one small part of what a capable smart city could do.

The United Kingdom has been installing CCTV systems throughout cities for many years now, and smart technology is making it much more effective. They can deploy to emergencies at a much more effective rate thanks to their CCTV paired with smart technology.

What About Your Privacy?

Is all of this convenience and efficiency worth it for the average citizen or tourist? With privacy concerns being at the forefront of technology talk these days, you may be concerned with security. There is always someone or something looking to collect some type of information from you, and smart technology is not going to decrease this.

There are ways to help alleviate concern when looking at privacy and security in our modern age. For example, to protect your connections at a smart home, you can always set up a VPN on your router, as this is going to be an extra layer of protection for everything on your network. A VPN free trial can be very useful if you want to improve your online safety.

This type of service will encrypt all of your data through their network and hide your location from snoopers. But it doesn’t help when you are watched by devices you have no control of.

Stay Safe While Traveling

While this may seem like a wild theory, there is evidence that criminals can hack these smart systems. The thought of having an entire city shut down due to hackers is scary, and the cities need to focus more on security technology before advancing.

The Future is Smart

The internet and smart technology are here to stay. There are major benefits for having all of this connectedness, and with the right people designing things, they certainly outweigh any pitfalls. If cities take their time and keep security at the forefront, smart cities will completely change the way we live and travel.

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