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The future of smart cities: AI, data, and urban transformation

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The” smart city” was created by utilizing the internet of Things across a wide range of industrial management tasks. The smart city revolution has spread to the world’s top cities more than ten years after. However, the idea seems to have been more of a branding coup than an urbanism revolution.

It is nothing new for cities to use technology to simplify industrial life. Humans have constantly looked for ways to use technology to enhance the daily grind of daily life since the earliest cities more than 6,000 years ago. City planners have been allowed to gather enormous amounts of data and better understand what residents need thanks to the development of the smartphone.

addressing industrial issues

The smartphone is unmatched in human history as a surveillance technology in terms of the large volume of data it gathers about people. The use of the metropolitan environment and where resources should be allocated are both dramatically improved by this data for city planners.

But, smart city branding tends to place more emphasis on user comfort than data monitoring. Residents of cities like Dubai and Singapore now interact with city services via smartphone apps as provincial offices no longer require paper for established business.

Residents can report service outages, pay fines, and more using device applications. Smart city marketers envision a future where residents always have to visit a real city office to conduct business, and resources are instantly allocated based on demand.

Some cities around the world have adopted the smart city approach to varying degrees over the past ten years. Residents of cities like Cape Town can deal with a variety of problems online or through their smartphones. A truly impressive wise city’s model is evolving. The organized city of NEOM in Saudi Arabia, located on the Red Sea coast, promises to integrate technology into almost every aspect of urban life.

Leading technology investors in California, on the other hand, want to create their own city from the ground up and test the idea of a smart city to address industrial issues.

smart city of the future

Silicon Valley billionaires Reid Hoffman, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Marc Andreessen are behind the California Forever project, which aims to create a “dream city” in North California. The project, which has now taken over sizable swaths of land, aims to develop a future smart city with the most modern renewable energy, security, and quality of life.

These investors are reacting to California’s cities ‘ rapid decline. Cities in California, from San Francisco to San Diego, have struggled to stop the rise in crime and homelessness. To offer an alternative to California’s extremely dangerous urban areas, the tech backers of California Forever are mocking the idea of a smart city, which is maintained by the most recent surveillance technology.

This is logical. At their core, bright cities are typified by monitoring architecture built into the industrial environment. But there has always been a softer side to the common narrative. We must take into account how emerging markets have changed over the past 20 years in order to fully understand this dichotomy. Investors started looking for new markets with high returns in the middle of the 2000s.

Emerging market nations, primarily in the Global South, became investor hotspots as a result of globalization, low money due to lower interest rates, and an increasing adolescent population. A fresh story emerged that accelerated and justified fresh investor sentiment. Technology and rising youth populations, in particular, were pointing to a traditional shift in the world economy. Emerging markets held the key to the future.

Essentially speaking, this was correct. Knowledge workers all over the world now have more access to markets thanks to technology. Growing youth populations in several cities in the emerging world have access to far more opportunities than their parents do.

emerging market nations

Cities like Dubai have developed into cutting-edge hubs for innovation, bringing together different populations. As higher interest rates have dried up the low money that was igniting this fervor, the story has collapsed in subsequent years. However, some emerging market nations have certainly established themselves.

The emerging market narrative continues to depend on the smart city narrative. Some city officials use smartphones to pay parking tickets as a symbol of how technology has the potential to simplify life. It eliminates a bureaucratic impediment that is frequently linked to colonialism’s legacy in some emerging market nations.

The story needs to change then that these developments are widely accepted throughout the world. One area where our perceptions of cities will change is the rise of artificial intelligence. Artificial systems can be used to forecast and manage resource allocation thanks to the vast amounts of data that cities have gathered over the past ten years. AI can more easily deliver the flawless experience that the smart city vision promises.

The dream of a truly smart city is n’t over. There will be a push to enhance the metropolitan environment as much as people reside in cities.

As new technology gives planners more options, the branding of intelligent cities in relation to the expansion of emerging markets has probably reached its peak. As a result, another chapter in the history of urbanism is about to begin.

Viktor Musil

Victor Musil, pen name for Edouard Py, advocates for inclusive, people-centered city development. His work underscores the importance of ethical considerations and equitable access, shaping the discourse on urban innovation worldwide.

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