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Smart City - Essay Example

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Nonetheless, it is crystal clear that in the attempt to increase the quality of life, cities have been faced with several challenges (Balbo, 2005). To mention…
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Smart City
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SMART By Smart Generally speaking, cities have played a significantly huge role in the social and economic advancement of individuals. Nonetheless, it is crystal clear that in the attempt to increase the quality of life, cities have been faced with several challenges (Balbo, 2005). To mention but a few, some of the common challenges facing cities include a shortage of adequate housing, congestion, unregulated growth and economic instability. Whereas a sustainability report by the United Nations (UN) points out that approximately half of the humanity, “3.5 billion people,” currently reside in cities (2015), Brauch, et al. identifies that majority of these individuals still live in slums (2011). Comparatively, although cities only occupy 2 to 3 percent of the total earth’s surface, they are responsible for about 75 percent of carbon secretions and 80 percent of the total energy consumption (Haftor, Mirijamdotter & Bradley, 2010). It is thus in this context that, to be livable in the future, cities require efficient urbanization plans with a huge emphasis placed on the concepts of sustainability, smart, and livability.
Essentially, there are various factors which characterize and define Smart Cities. According to Sanseverino, these factors include smart economy, sustainability, smart mobility, economic development, smart people, a high quality of life and smart governance among others (2014). Thus, these factors are essential for the improvement of lives of individuals residing in cities. It is worth noting that these factors can be enhanced through the appropriate and effective use of infrastructure, Information Computer Technology (ICT), as well as social capital (Galbraith, 2014). As such, a Smart City creates an environment that not only presents the residents with numerous opportunities to be tapped, but also a broad range of actions and activities as embraced in its voluminous definitions. According to Giffinger, et al., a Smart City can be defined as “an innovative city” which makes use of ICTs and other strategies to increase urban competition, improve efficiency in the services offered and improve the general quality of city life (2007). It is however worth noting that in order to achieve this, it is important to not only meet the needs of the present generation but also the future generations.
Notably important, there are six important dimensions that are key to the creation of a Smart City. These dimensions can be identified as smart mobility, smart economy, smart people, smart environment, smart governance and smart living (Saaty, 2013). To illustrate, a smart economy refers to the successful combination of idea/innovation economy and enterprise economy so as to pave way for an efficient environment that will focus on better use of natural resources, energy, as well as build social cohesion. Equally, smart mobility generally refers to creating a transportation system that enhance environmental, human, and economic resources. As such, a Smart City requires a smart mobility structure which is composed of a convenient, suitable, accessible, fast and safe mode of travel.
Comparatively, smart people refers to a society which is generally intelligent, modern and highly exposed (Martin & Christensen, 2013). For that reason, a Smart City is composed of citizens or individuals who possess high physical and intellectual skills, high levels of education, and are highly socially integrated, more so in the essence of their human capital. Comparatively, the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies smart living as a life in which individuals have high cultural and uphold traditional values in relation to their concerns, expectations and goals (qtd. in Munier 2007). Therefore, smart living generally refers to a situation whereby individuals gain access to free quality life and are given many opportunities to thrive. Equally, in brief, smart governance includes the active participation of citizens in political decisions, efficient use of government resources and the use of electronic platforms to govern manage resources.
Factually, Dubai is an authentic example in learning the concept of Smart City. This is basically because Dubai possesses all the factors that make up a Smart City. For instance, due to its efficient economy, the competition level in Dubai is high. This can be further illustrated by the innovative entrepreneurial spirit, high productivity, international involvement and flexibility in its labour market. Equally, Dubai has a smart mobility system as presented by its efficient, sustainable, safe and innovative transport systems such as the electric trains and the Emirates Airlines among others. Furthermore, Dubai has a smart governance system since the citizens are involved in the decision making process that involve public services. Thus, in general, Dubai possesses a multitude of indicators which make it an authentic example of a Smart City.
References
Balbo, M. (2005). International migrants and the city: Bangkok, Berlin, Dakar, Karachi, Johannesburg, Naples, São Paulo, Tijuana, Vancouver, Vladivostok. Nairobi: UN-Habitat.
Brauch, H. G., et al. (2011). Coping with global environmental change, disasters and security: Threats, challenges, vulnerabilities and risks. Berlin: Springer.
Galbraith, B. (2014). Abstract of papers: Presenter at the 9th European Conference in Innovation and Entrepreneurship: ECIE 2014. Reading: Academic Conferences and Publishing International.
Giffinger, R, et al. (2007). Smart Cities Ranking of European Medium-sized Cities, Centre of Regional Science, Vienna UT, Oct. 2007. Retrieved from http://www.smart-cities.eu/download/smart_cities_final_report.pdf.
Haftor, D. M., Mirijamdotter, A., & Bradley, G. (2010). Information and communication technologies, society and human beings: Theory and framework. Hershey PA: Information Science Reference.
Martin, R. L., & Christensen, K. (2013). Rotman on design: The best on design thinking from Rotman magazine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Munier, N. (2007). Handbook on Urban Sustainability, Springer, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.springer.com/environment/environmental%2Bmanagement/book/978-1-4020-5350-4.
Saaty, T. L. (2013). Compact city: The next urban evolution in response to climate change.
Sanseverino, E. (2014). Smart rules for smart cities: Managing efficient cities in Euro-Mediterranean countries.
United Nations. (2015). Sustainable Cities. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/sustainablefuture/cities.asp. Read More
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