Smart cities better defined by new research

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Researchers at the University of Birmingham have identified a handful of key elements that define ‘smart cities’– cities like Singapore and Copenhagen, which are both at the top of their game in using technology to enable their citizens to enjoy a better quality of life, but in different ways.

Singapore’s vision focusses on developing the ‘smartness’ of its people in using technology, such as wireless communications and energy-efficient appliances or vehicles. This helps people to reduce the need to move or, if necessary, do so more cleanly.

In contrast, Copenhagen’s strategy centres on engaging people, companies and government to create  a ‘green’ economy, as well as ensuring that urban planning allows the city to grow in a way that creates an improving quality of life.

Both cities were used as case studies in the research, which investigates whether smart cities are realising their potential for lower carbon dioxide emissions and is being carried out by a team from the University’s Department of Civil Engineering.

They demonstrate that a smart city can be defined by a vision that includes five key factors: digital technology; environmental sustainability; civic initiatives; mobility; and business. The team discovered that over 70 per cent of activity contributing to a smart city occurred in the first three of these areas.

They have published an online paper into their research – ‘Do smart cities realise their potential for lower carbon dioxide emissions’ – with the Institution of Civil Engineers

Published paper :

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