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Smart Cities – what can we experience so far?

date: 16 February 2017
reading time: 3 min

We can all agree that smart life, in smart cities, using smart equipment is bound to be convenient and simple. So, the thought of cities becoming even more connected may make your head spin.

As you probably know, a smart city is a special use of technology that offers an enhanced urban space, simultaneously improving not only everyday lives, but also the environment.

It works by collecting data from multiple sensors around us, usually embedded in smart devices, but also from our cell phones, cars etc. As a result, a city can ‘learn’ the patterns and become even more citizen-friendly.

Let’s take a look, at the smart approaches around the globe:


Barcelona has been named the 4th ‘most creative’ city in the world. So, it is safe to say that this metropolis, can not only be associated with Gaudi and with fashion, but also with very fashionable solutions that were installed all over the city.

Barcelona invested in sensors and fitted them everywhere to enhance the monitoring of traffic, among other reasons. This helps the city to draw conclusions and, as a result, manage traffic appropriately. The authorities claim that this solution will reduce congestion by 21% in the following years.
These sensors do much more, though. They are focused on measuring pollution, fumes, as well as noise. They also monitor the activity of smart streetlights and parking facilities.

In 2016, Barcelona implemented multiple environmental projects – smart grids, smart meters, and a smart irrigation system to prevent potential droughts.


Oslo is known to be one of the wealthiest cities on the planet, as well as one of the most innovative.

Oslo’s authorities are focused on becoming more environmentally friendly, hence by 2020 they wish to reduce gas emission by 50%, and by 2030 become carbon neutral which is quite a big ambition.

As for now, they have installed sensory parking monitoring and they work on reducing energy consumption with the use of LED smart street lighting.

As it was mentioned before, Oslo strides towards energy sustainability and installed a charging network for electric vehicles. This will put them one step closer towards their future – carbon neutrality.


Living in a smart city is one thing, but claiming to become a smart nation, is another. That’s the quest Singapore has embarked on.

As part of their smart nation movement, Singapore authorities developed the ‘Virtual Singapore’, a 3D program where they can test their smart ideas before implementation, as well as check citizens’ safety by e.g. working out the most efficient emergency routes.

In addition to all the improvements that Oslo and Barcelona implemented, Singapore went a step further. They came up with a national operating system for 100 million connected devices where every aspect of citizens’ lives is measured and analysed, with their privacy in mind. They measure a variety of things – from overflowing garbage cans to crowded bus stops which indicate a need for more busses.

Thanks to the data gathered, Singapore will be able to introduce even better facilities for their citizens, environment, and the city itself.

The smart movement is a very exciting area of city development and we are constantly being surprised by new solutions. One thing is certain – our cities are no longer just places filled with people. They are becoming welcoming spaces that cater to every need of their citizens.

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