Why do smart cities need smart software development?

date: 20 September 2016
reading time: 4 min

Talk of Smart Cities has become increasingly frequent over the last few years. But what is a Smart City? Why does it need smart software development? And how are our lives set to change?

As we already wrote on our blog, smart Cities are urban developments with the sole of purpose of improving the inhabitants’ quality of life. The needs of the inhabitants and environment are essential, with the Smart City providing improved services and innovative technology for all parts of the city. Analysts predict that the Smart Cities market will be $757 billion by 2020 and that we will continue to see updates around the world on Smart Cities rollout.

Interconnectivity is also central to Smart Cities, with smart software allowing the city to be monitored and improved accordingly. The smart software needs to be customised to the city itself, improving the quality of life in a safe and secure way.

Here are 5 ways smart software development could help build the smart cities of the future – and how we can expect it to influence our lives.

1. Improved security

With ‘smart’ comes secure. The advancement of Smart Cities has created an increased need for the security of all inhabitants, both physically and virtually. Smart Cities have the ability to improve the hazardous physicality of urban cities, with automatic street lamps and constant road monitoring. Road monitoring can also decrease traffic congestion with each car having live traffic updates that can help inhabitants to find parking spaces and unblocked routes.

Increased security also comes with increased surveillance, both of inhabitants and of the system itself. The amount of data collected in Smart Cities is much larger than an average city, so Smart Cities need a secure system to hold the data. The use of encryption and password protection is paramount in Smart Cities, with data protection being of the utmost importance in its security.

2. Improved standard of living

There are numerous examples of Smart Cities providing an improved standard of living to its inhabitants. Not only are the inhabitants safer on the monitored roads, but the smart buildings allow inhabitants to have access to a modern 24/7 healthcare and well-developed e-learning education. Smart Cities, therefore improve basic services for all who live in them.

However, the improved standard of living is not limited to the buildings. Smart Cities have developed improved water and waste management, water forecasting, and enhanced rail and aviation systems. Increasing access to services and developing utilities and transport could lead to a vast improvement in the standard of living in Smart Cities.

3. Reduction of the impact of external factors

Interconnectivity in the city allows a focus to be placed on sustaining and helping the environment. Smart City technology can measure chemical or pollution levels in water or air, testing contaminated areas. By monitoring the safety of the inhabitants through advanced technology systems, external factors will have a decreased impact on the inhabitants’ health. Monitoring external factors in Smart Cities will reduce the amount of natural disasters (such as drought) and protect finite resources.

However, the health of the inhabitants is not the only factor that can be monitored by smart software development. Smart City technology can also test the levels of humidity and sunlight for plants, ensuring that they are receiving the necessary elements to keep them healthy.

4. Reduction of impact of industrialised areas and management of waste

Smart Cities reduce the impact of industrialised areas through increased energy management, intelligent water management, smart air conditioning, and efficient logistics. Smart energy management encompasses the use of renewable energy and power stabilisation, helping the city and the wider environment to become sustainable. The use of stable wind and solar power, aligned with natural gas cogeneration, provides power for the city grid.

5. Achieving technological cohesion

Achieving technological cohesion will undoubtedly create an improved cooperation between countries, thanks to similarities between each countries’ technology. Most well-developed countries use the same technology, which will allow the countries to achieve technological unity. In an era where unity is proving more and more difficult, technological cohesion between different countries allows the Smart Cities to develop their smart software together and create better and safer cities. Technological interconnectivity, therefore goes beyond the Smart City, into the wider world.

Smart software development is paramount to Smart Cities, as it allows the city to use and develop technology to improve security and standard of living. The increase of Smart Cities will parallel the development of smart software, with both the cities and the software continuously improving. As they do, we can expect to see our homes and environments change dramatically – making a more secure, more sustainable, more ‘smart’ world for all of us.

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