GEOGRAMA - Trends for smart cities in 2021

6 trends for smart cities in 2021

If you work in the local Administration, the concept of Smart City will be familiar to you. It’s always interesting to be updated since smart cities keep evolving day by day. In this article, we give you the guidelines to manage smart cities in 2021.

More and more citizens are demanding to live in smart cities, so the authorities are no longer the only ones in charge to drive the growth of these environments. This has been proved by several studies, such as the one made by Capgemini, which shows that citizens prefer to live in smarter and more sustainable cities.

This means that local managers should be updated on the latest trends for smart cities. Here we bring you the 6 of them.

6 trends for smart cities in 2021

1.- Intelligent traffic management

One of the main challenges that face smart cities in 2021 is improving urban mobility. Here we take into account aspects involved with the quality of life of its citizens, such as time spent travelling, air quality, the efficiency of public transport and the speed of emergency services.

For traffic control in Smart Cities to become a reality, it’s important to have solutions that provide data with a geographic component. From this data, municipal managers will get useful information, such as:

  • Origin-destination matrices where we can appreciate areas of greatest activity.
  • Records of routes, times and average speeds.
  • Real-time monitoring of the traffic situation at every time.
  • Floating population data.

Using this data, the city’s traffic managers will be able to design long-term mobility plans, in addition to solving specific scenarios, such as accidents or traffic jams.

Find out how did we achieve sustainable traffic management in Göteborg using Geotraffic.

2.- Open Data Interoperability

Smart cities need a significant supply of information, which is mostly collected by local entities. Much of this data is available to the public as open data.

One of the main qualities that open data must have is interoperability. Interoperability allows open data to be integrated into any system and to be used by any organization, both public or private.

In addition, thanks to interoperability, open data catalogues from different sources can be combined with each other easily. As a result, very valuable conclusions can be drawn, conclusions that would be impossible to make using data from only one source.

To manage quality open data, many entities use the CKAN application (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network). This application provides a series of powerful tools to work open data in many formats, including geographic ones. Related to CKAN, there are solutions that automate data updating, such as FME, used to gain time and efficiency.

GEOGRAMA - Trends for smart cities in 2021

3.- Smart municipal services

Managing a Smart City implies coordinating a series of basic services for their citizens daily routine.

We can start with the waste collection system. It’s a municipal service to which the municipalities allocate a large part of their budget. Therefore, funds must invest wisely in workers and material resources, such as vehicles.

Based on studies on the amount of waste collected by zones, it’s possible to establish the optimal passage frequency for trucks and sweepers. Some cities already have containers that report their fill level in real-time.

Changing topics, we can also take a look at cities lighting. If we manage in a smart way, we can save a lot of money and have an environmentally friendly city and safe for its citizens.

GIS solutions make it possible to detect areas in which low consumption luminaires have not yet been implemented, others with a deficit or excess of lighting and optimize the maintenance of the network, among other possibilities.

From Geograma, we contribute to improving urban energy scenarios with the development of GISECU, a project in which we are currently working.

4.- Digitization of assets and inventory

One of the most important goals that Smart Cities must achieve throughout 2021 is to create a digital model of all the resources they have. By resources we mean:

  • Urban furniture: street lamps, bins, containers, benches, playgrounds, etc.
  • Elements of public transport: bus stops, subway and commuter stations, car parks and bicycle rental points, etc.
  • Green and leisure areas.
  • Urban street map.
  • Parking spaces.
  • Places of cultural interest: monuments, museums, theatres, cinemas, etc.

We have participated in numerous projects that involve the digitization of urban elements. For example, we worked in the creation of new zonal plans for Madrid Regional Transport Consortium (CRTM).

GEOGRAMA - Trends for smart cities in 2021

5.- Cybersecurity

Without a doubt, one of the words that can define a Smart City is “connection” and it’s this connectivity that makes the IT systems of smart cities vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks.

Cybersecurity is getting more and more important in several aspects, and Smart Cities is one of them. In fact, malicious action on smart cities can have very unpleasant consequences.

A cyber attack could leave an entire city without electricity supply, steal sensitive data, congest traffic or disable devices such as parking meters.

To prevent this from happening, metropolitan managers must have effective cybersecurity policies, as well as technical means and qualified personnel.

6.- Optimized healthcare

Of course, we could not leave behind the health crisis that we are currently experiencing. To help take care of the health of citizens, solutions of various kinds have been developed.

For example, there are GIS tools that allow you to view the progress of infections by areas. We can also consult the health resources that we have closest to our location.

And now that this article comes to an end, do you have a clear idea of the main aspects of growth for smart cities this year? If you still have questions, we are here to help you. Contact us and let’s talk about it.