What is a smart city? In essence this is a city which has efficient and innovative use of its people, infrastructure, transportation, energy, education and recreational with a view to having a safe and sustained environment.

Let us see what MIT is doing here in terms of transportation among others.

http://www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/smart-cities

Here is IBM’s take on it which is safe neighbor hoods, quality schools, affordable housing and traffic that flows

http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/sustainable_cities/ideas/

Let us take a simple example. That is the flow of traffic.

We live in a suburb of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. I am still gainfully employed and as such make my daily commute of 10 odd miles to and back from my place of work.

The lanes are always crowded whether it is the morning or evening. My commute time is 30 minutes one way. The normal wait time at an intersection with lights is 1.5 to 2 minutes.

The irony is that the lanes are not crowded on the other side

I am not sure whether Fort Lauderdale can in any way be classified as a Smart City.

What would it take to make it a smart city?

Let us work in modules in this article to take the simplest area to “Smart”

We could collect traffic data and modulate the traffic signal timing. Let us see the gain here. We save in fuel cost and will increase out efficiency. This sounds so simple and I always wonder why we don’t do it. I am sure forward-looking cities are doing it.

I believe Smart Cities are doing it for in innovative ways

  • Parking
  • Transportation
  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Manufacturing
  • Buildings
  • Infrastructure
  • Energy
  • Airports
  • Taxis

As usual I invite reader comments as we move on and explore other areas for making “Smart”

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