In the context of Smart Cities, the universe of Big Data, IoT, M2M and other related technologies are a great ally for them to become in a tangible reality. Moreover, the concept of intelligent city is not conceived in the margin of them, because, even if their developments are different, in one way or another will be debtor of them.
In this article we will see how to carry out a smart city vision that unfailingly relies on large volumes of data.
Smart City: A big challenge
The goal may be more or less clear, the phases become numerous and / or complex or not so much, but in all cases the achievement of the projects will imply to face important challenges related to Big Data.
There is no doubt that cities that want to be smart, or that are beginning to be, are facing serious challenges, because Big Data is only the raw material from which they work.
In this way, only its processing through different technologies of Big Data, in sum, allow to take the decisive step in the solution of the different urban problems.
The areas in which Big Data can help build Smart Cities are innumerable, among other reasons because, simply, many of them are still unknown. The same technological advance, really vertiginous today, as well as the same synergy created in a technological world always opens new possibilities.
New and great possibilities that, again, involve enormous challenges at different levels, from the technological to the social, without forgetting political and ethical approaches. Not by any means, Smart Cities are closely linked to the municipality and, expanding the focus, to a globalized world, always connected.
How can Big Data help build Smart Cities?
The concept of smart applied to cities is already an absolute reality in those leading cities that, in general, are also among the most populated in the world. Their examples help us understand how can Big Data help improve the quality of life of citizens, within a framework of sustainability.
The Songdo model
We find numerous real examples of large volumes of data as support and/or substantial part when building Smart Cities. The city of Songdo is an example of a fully connected city, practically built from scratch with this target.
There are more than three decades of progress in this regard. Since the beginning of this century, it was decided to carry out this macro project; this South Korean city near Seoul is one of the most technologically developed in the world.
Every inch of the city is connected by fiber optic broadband cable and today it can be said that it has made great advances that have a big impact on the day to day life of its residents.
These include the RFID tag system in cars, chip cards in containers, safer lives for citizens or, let us say, the installation of a smart energy grid that adjusts street lights.
In addition to facilitating law enforcement, large data can help reduce emissions and reduce pollution. They are only small notes that seek to serve as an example of projects for a better management of problems or resources, regardless of the broad casuistry.
Culminating the projects, another great challenge
The construction of a smart city goes beyond a good approach or an adequate execution. As is easy to understand, to change a city into a smart city requires significant political and budgetary support. In fact, in addition to the framework and institutional support, their projects often constitute a great business opportunity.
To complete the projects and even to raise them for their concretion is a big challenge, especially, from an inclusive approach, typical of the very term of the Smart Cities. While they have come to stay, their widespread implementation must overcome many obstacles.
In this sense, we must understand that the phenomenon of Smart Cities is still in an incipient stage, which must face the financial difficulties that characterizes, above all, the developing economies. This does not prevent that the large volume of data provided by the current digital age doesn’t have a decisive specific weight. It is precisely their revolutionary potential that adds fuel to the boiler of the locomotive of the new times.
The explosion of data is especially concentrated in urban areas, on the other hand a pole of attraction for the world population, which also continues to grow. In this context of overpopulation, increasingly scarce resources and exponential growth of cities, public policies are revealed as an essential tool for better urban management.
In this context, Big Data, but above all, its analysis and use through ad hoc technological solutions make it an optimal and indispensable tool for the creation and improvement of Smart Cities.
An unstoppable trend
Far from being a futuristic dream, cities are starting to use Big Data to achieve substantial improvement, which facilitates the efficient use of resources. There are numerous examples that show how the integration of Big Data with technologies lead to the creation of Smart Cities.
Great data are the headstone on which lie the Smart Cities. In particular, they are key to design and implement initiatives oriented at solving urban problems of the most varied.
Just as we can say that Big Data applied to Smart Cities is an incipient reality, it cannot be denied that there are also many mature examples. But, above all, the expectations of the future are tremendous. According to a study by IHS Technology in 2025 Smart Cities will have a significantly greater presence.