Some of today’s greatest cities benefitted from visionaries who – centuries ago – saw possibilities for civic betterment and made it happen. A compelling example comes from leaders back in the 1800s. Way before the phrase “urban sprawl” had entered our psyche, they committed to preserving vast amounts of open spaces for public use. Think of Hyde Park in London, Central Park jutting through Manhattan or Ueno Park in Tokyo. They are all testaments to leaders “thinking outside the box” a very long time ago.
A city isn’t smart because it uses technology. A city is smart because it uses technology to make its citizens’ lives better. This chapter focuses on the “secret sauce” that turns the idea of a smart city into reality – the people who live in the city, who work in the city and the people who have hopes and dreams for the kind of city they will leave for future generations.
In this chapter we refer to transportation as any and every system that moves people around a city. Think of a city’s streets, vehicles, railways, subways, buses, bicycles, streetcars, ferries and so on. All play an essential role in the hustle and bustle of today’s cities – in commuting to work, running errands, attending classes, enjoying a night out, shipping and receiving products, delivering pizzas. We rely on the vast web of transportation networks in our cities. We trust that they will get us where we need to be in an efficient, safe manner for a reasonable price.
Advances in information and communications technologies (ICT) will transform the delivery of essential health, education and other human services in powerful ways – and smart cities will ride the wave to ensure a better life for their residents.
The Smart Cities Council seeks to improve the livability, workability and sustainability of the world’s communities. We seek a better future for all. To accomplish that, we now offer the opportunity for regional stakeholders everywhere to affiliate with the Council and leverage our best practices.
By registering, you become a member of the Smart City Council free of charge with many benefits.