Publications

- February 1, 2020: Vol. 14, Number 2

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Thinking smart: Smart city systems can solve key urban challenges by promoting certain types of behaviour

by Héber M. Delgado-Medrano

The concept of smart cities has been all the rage in urban planning circles for some time. Local governments attempting to improve city efficiency, as well as technology firms eager to sell hardware and software solutions, have wholeheartedly embraced and promoted the concept.

No single definition exists for what a smart city should consist of. Generally, however, it includes the deployment of physical internet-of-things (IoT) devices and sensors connected to information and communication technology (ICT) platforms to allow cities to collect and analyse data to manage resources. The idea is to use this information — which can also come from mobile phone disaggregated data — to help cities address urban challenges in transport, resource and waste management, governance and public services, and safety.

Many cities around the world have, to varying degrees, adopted these technologies and are already using them. But in spite of the large-scale efforts and considerable

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