The expression “smart city” has been used for several years by a number of technology companies and serves as a description for the application of compound systems to integrate the operation of urban infrastructure and services such as buildings, transportation, electrical and water distribution, and public safety. A smart city can be described as a city that:
● Allows real-world urban data to be collected and analyzed by the use of software systems, server substructure, network infrastructure, and client devices.
● Implements solutions, with the support of instrumentation and interconnection of sensors, actuators, and mobile devices.
● Can combine service production and an intelligent environment, exploits accessible information in its activities and decision making and adopts information flows between the municipality and the urban or business community.
The city may be considered as a service organization with citizens as the customers - it provides services to its citizens. There is a demand for smarter, effective, efficient and more sustainable cities, pushing the collective intelligence of cities onward, which can improve the ability to forecast and manage urban flows, and integrate the dimensions of the physical, digital and institutional spaces of a regional agglomeration. Urban development and improvement of the city has been turning towards technology. Smart cities use different information and communication technologies (ICT). Solutions characteristically includes various aspects of a city ecosystem such as smart infrastructure, smart operation, smart service and smart industry, smart education systems, or smart security systems. The concept of a smart city integrates the dimensions of the physical, institutional and digital spaces of an agglomeration. This approach introduces aspects such as interconnection, feedback, self-organization, and adaptation in order to provide an understanding of the almost organic growth, operation, and evolution of cities. Cities are now transforming from digital cities to smart cities, digital or intelligent cities that are more technology oriented equivalents of smart city concepts. A city becomes “smart” when it is instrumented, interconnected, adaptive, autonomous, learning, self-repairing, and robust. Parts of its infrastructure and facilities are digitally connected and optimized by using ICT to deliver services to their citizens and other
Smart city solutions for electronic administration
Municipalities have a commitment for integrated urban services planning in order to provide efficient services to citizens in expectation of improving the quality of life. This requires new thinking about how to meet the request for public and other services and to achieve the improvement of the quality of services through development of the city infrastructure. The message is clear - take the paper out and replace it with electronic data and messages through the use of an e-office. Policymakers and public leaders are increasingly looking for ICT solutions to productively and effectively provide public services in the area of utilities, transportation, education, healthcare, or safety. Many local authorities and city administrations are now seeing the benefit of systems integration and more joined-up thinking. Even businesses benefit from more honest and efficient interaction with the city through more streamlined and transparent procurement policies, as well as registration and taxation processes or online services provision.
Smart Cities Applications and Services
The provision of real-time information about urban environments is important for running different helpful applications and services. It is clear that the spectrum of application areas is very wide. For example, real-time travel information is essential for applications which let people plan trips on public transportation. The user could have real time information about when the next bus or train is coming. Another example is an application, which collects and distributes real time information about where parking is accessible so drivers can promptly find free spaces. Access to suitable data represents an opportunity for developers to create applications. In this way stakeholders can access wide online services, with portals for basic information, citizen services, business, and tourism, all based on a common infrastructure. Smart cities are deploying online services in different sectors of cities.
Cities are structures of services and these services are things through which people interact within the city systems, together with other people. They often consume or transform resources and usually require some form of payment or exchange. Both universal and regional service providers offer to manage and run city applications and services. Many systems integrators and service providers are going beyond the defining, designing, developing and deploying offerings for specific smart city initiatives by integrating multiple initiatives or by proposing to accomplish and run them on behalf of city administrations or other stakeholders. Services delivered by smart cities should be easy to use, efficient, responsive, open and sustainable for the environment. Citizens and other stakeholders expect high quality public services that transform and enhance their daily quality of life. There is a pressure on cities to optimize urban services management, provide better and more efficient infrastructures and services, often for less cost. The general aim is to deliver higher quality services more efficiently, to achieve saving in staff time and costs of delivering services, and provide a safe, convenient, efficient service.
Overview of smart city services
There is a wide range of services and applications. These services cover fields such as transportation (intelligent road networks, connected cars and public transport), public utilities (smart electricity, water and gas distribution), education, health and social care, public safety. Emerging applications and services are extended into diverse fields such as everyday life of citizens, disaster management, smart buildings, logistics and intelligent procurement. The applications for this portfolio include implementation for the connected city such as: smart grid, smart home, security, building automation, remote health and wellness monitoring, location aware applications, mobile payments and other machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.