Smart City Life - More quality of life through technology

The promise of the smart city: quality of life, environmental protection and efficiency. We show which challenges have to be solved smartly

smart city

Author: Katharina Healing

More and more people are moving to the cities - of course not without consequences. Mobility, networking, the air and the coexistence of citizens are thus facing new challenges smart to solve. Business consulting Roland Berger and McKinsey study have evaluated which cities are facing these challenges and implementing groundbreaking concepts. In the Smart Cities the daily commuting times, the amount of garbage, crime, environmental pollution and other negative factors decrease. Meanwhile, the quality of the air improves.

What does Smart City mean?

Smart Cities are cities that develop and implement concepts that make life in the city more livable, environmentally friendly and efficient. Around Smart Cities Roland Berger relates to three overarching dimensions, twelve criteria and 31 sub-criteria in order to identify and drive it forward. The specialists have one of them Smart City Strategy Index (SCSI) developed. Based on this, around 150 cities around the world have now been examined for the second time. McKinsey has also devoted himself to this future-oriented topic with a total of 60 applications.

Smart City benefits

  • Less commuting time thanks to better mobility solutions
  • Better health through Telemedicine and monitoring
  • More security through data-based crime predictions
  • Intelligent energy networks through automated and optimized energy use

These studies have shown some aspects that bring improvements for the citizens of the cities. Better mobility solutions, for example, promise citizens an average of 20 percent less commuting time. This includes intelligent traffic control, Smart Parking and real-time information for local traffic. This in turn means less pollution for the environment.

But also the health of the Smart CityCitizens benefit from the new concepts and innovative solutions. Telemedicine, better monitoring in the event of an outbreak of contagious diseases and real-time monitoring of the chronically ill can reduce the disease burden by 15 percent. Smart traffic light switches can also shorten the journey time for emergency vehicles by a decisive number of minutes. Such monitoring systems can also facilitate police work through data-based crime predictions and make homes more secure with security systems.

Smart Cities are also considered to be particularly environmentally friendly. Automated heating and cooling in buildings, billing for the actual amount of waste and intelligent energy networks significantly reduce the environmental impact in cities.

Requirements for promoting the Smart City

McKinsey's analysis has shown that three conditions must be met in order to Smart Cities successfully set up and expand.

  1. Technical basis that is connected by sensors, smartphones and a fast mobile and broadband network and provides raw data (open data platform)
  2. Various applications that process this raw data for citizens. For example, to translate this data into concrete warnings, real-time information or recommendations for action
  3. Use of the applications by a large number of citizens, which ultimately leads to a change in behavior within society

Although some cities already score with advanced approaches, many of the strategies are still insufficiently implemented, according to the study authors. There is not a lack of ideas and strategies, but the unclear responsibilities and coordinative functions with appropriate knowledge that drive the projects forward. A central decision-making body, as London has engaged or one Smart City Agency as in Vienna, remedial measures would be taken and the authorities involved coordinated.

Smart Cities Europe - Vienna, London, Hamburg

The study by Roland Berger management consultancy shows that the number of cities with a clear strategy is heading Smart City almost doubled. 90 percent of all cities, however, do not show holistic concepts. It becomes clear that there is still a lot of potential for Smart Cities gives. It has turned out that Vienna is number 1 worldwide when it comes to the best Smart CityStrategy goes. Austria's capital scores with innovative solutions for the environment, health, education, energy, housing, security, waste and local engagement as well as in its Monitoring the progress of individual projects. London follows, but especially Asian metropolises show convincing concepts. Of German cities, only Hamburg and Berlin are in the top third of the ranking.

The biggest challenges & forecast

The problems of many large cities are often similar: long traffic jams, limited living space and increasing environmental pollution. Close cooperation between city administrations, companies and citizens is essential for the implementation of the Smart City-Strategies for concrete improvement of quality of life necessary. More and more applications are being promoted by private actors, some of whom contribute more than half of the total investment to the projects.

All in all, it can be said that cities with a high per capita income use Smart City-Projects are ahead. Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai are also investing heavily. In a global comparison, German metropolises tend to underperform in terms of social acceptance, while Asian cities encounter a much more open-minded society with young and technical solutions.

If one follows past developments, forecasts for a growing one can be made Smart City- Set up movement. Especially in times when urban space is expanding and the focus is on efficiency, quality of life and environmental protection, more is needed Smart CityStrategies and one thing above all - their clearly regulated implementation.


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