Smart cities should be driven by smart data

The United Nations has predicted that by 2050 urban areas will be occupied by around 70 per cent of the world's population.



By Mohammed Amin (Future Perfect)

Published: Thu 29 Sep 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 30 Sep 2016, 12:23 AM

The development of smart cities is seen as a means to support rapid urbanisation. This vision has increased the pressure on the infrastructure and services of cities across the globe.
The United Nations has predicted that by 2050 urban areas will be occupied by around 70 per cent of the world's population. This has brought tremendous pressure on city authorities who will need to take effective measures to address population growth, public safety, pollution and traffic control, culture and economic growth.
Experts do not deem smart cities as a luxury but as a catalyst vital to ensure viability and sustenance of increased urbanization. And as the vision of smart city comes closer to reality, it will be of great importance to have the necessary technology in place to support evolving needs and services.
Emerging technologies such as big data, Internet of Things, analytics, and sensors will play a pivotal role in helping urban environments allocate resources efficiently in order to foster population growth in a sustainable manner.
Typically in a smart city the streets will be embedded with sensors which are capable of measuring temperature, humidity, pollution levels, seismic activity etc. It has been estimated that every lamp post and bus stop will have approximately 8 sensors. So, with 250,000 connected objects in an ordinary urban surrounding equivalent to over 2 million sensors will generate real-time data that can be processed and filtered as per relevance. Measuring these environmental factors makes the city's infrastructure agile and highly responsive to contingent developments without any human intervention. For example, by leveraging the data accumulated on traffic congestion impacting pollution levels, drivers can be redirected to alternate routes to reduce the emission of air pollutants.
In the light of building data-driven smart cities, Dubai paints a demonstrative picture of the volume of data a smart city will generate. The city is introducing a plethora of smart city initiatives across varied industries like transport, infrastructure, financial services, communications and urban planning as a result of the ample leadership-backed efforts to transform Dubai into a smart, sustainable Emirate. The government aims to deploy close to 200,000 smart meters in 2016, which will further augment to nearly a million by 2017, besides mandating nearly 1,000 smart services which will go live by 2017. However, in order to be truly smart, a city must build an infrastructure that is capable of accessing, processing and extracting value from large volumes of unstructured data. This is where assembling all data under data lakes will prove to be beneficial.
The citizens of smart cities will expect easy access to information at all times and want personalized services to be readily available. An effective way to deal with these new 'digital citizens' of smart cities is to apply predictive analytics, which has the capabilities to forecast the needs of the public and competently allocate adequate resources after thoroughly analysing the data lakes.
In case of a medical emergency for example, predictive analytics could direct people and emergency services to hospitals with sufficient capacity, likely reducing waiting times.
Predictive analytics could be also used for traffic optimisation as well. City authorities could predict traffic flow and determine the impact of certain events around the city, such as a large sporting event or an election campaign.
Clearly, advancement in data systems with cutting-edge analytics capabilities can strengthen the foundation of smart cities. And when these capabilities embody a platform, it can boost the creation of smart, sustainable cities.
- Mohammed Amin is Senior Vice President, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Middle East, EMC.

From UAE to the world
T their elkdjf lakjdf laksdfjl aksdfj alkdjf lakjdhsflalk dfhsalksjdfh akdsfjhaklsdjf akjdsfhakljdfha lkjfh sdkljfh akjhfklaksdfjhakjshdf akjhadfklfh dkaljhfkjh alkdfhj akjdfh akjdfhakjdsfh kjahdfskjlp various causes across the wor their elkdjf lakjdf laksdfjl aksdfj alkdjf lakjdhsflalk dfhsalksjdfh akdsfjhaklsdjf akjdsfhakljdfha lkjfh sdkljfh akjhfklaksdfjhakjshdf akjhadfklfh dkaljhfkjh alkdfhj akjdfh akjdfhakjdsfh kjahdfskjlp various causes across the wor
their elkdjf lakjdf laksdfjl aksdfj alkdjf lakjdhsflalk dfhsalksjdfh akdsfjhaklsdjf akjdsfhakljdfha lkjfh sdkljfh akjhfklaksdfjhakjshdf akjhadfklfh dkaljhfkjh alkdfhj akjdfh akjdfhakjdsfh kjahdfskjlp various causes across the world.
- Name. P,lace


More news from OPINION