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What is Smart City and Who are the Key Players

What is “Smart City”? There is no universal definition accepted by everybody. It means different things for different people and the concept is various from city to city and country to country. “Smart City solutions are currently based on multiple architectures, standards and platforms, which have led to a highly fragmented landscape.” (VITAL)

Please take a look at several definitions:

 “A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets” (Wikipedia)

“A city equipped with basic infrastructure to give a decent quality of life, a clean and sustainable environment through application of some smart solutions.” (The Times of India)

“A developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government.” (BusinessDictionary.com)

Raconteur has created a very nice infographic to explain the concept of Smart City:


According to CB Insights, the Smart City concept covers the following segments:

  • Parking – Startups are improving the efficiency with which we park our cars, doing everything from booking (ParkWhiz), parking analytics (Parkifi), and smart metering (MeterFeeder).
  • Grid/Energy – These companies are using analytics, algorithms, and connectivity to keep supply and demand for electricity in balance.
  • Data-Driven Urban Planning – These companies are providing access to new, hyperlocal data about our cities and helping planners understand neighborhood needs better.
  • Smarter Transport – Startups that are making our existing transport smart (Zubie, Vinli), creating new smart vehicles (Ather Energy), new public transit options powered by data (Bridj, Shuttl), or smart bike-sharing programs (Zagster).
  • Environmental Sensors – Companies that are developing hardware to better understand our urban environment, from weather data, to pollution, to ambient sound.
  • Connectivity – Startups that are using different means to provide internet, connections, and infrastructure for new networks.
  • Waste Management – Using data and connected devices to optimize waste collection.
  • Traffic/Transit Data – Private companies that are using mobile and sensors to provide analytics around commutes and congestion.
  • Water Usage/Quality – Tools that help to analyze the traffic of water in our cities.

CB Insights also put a list of 56 startups that make cities smarter.


The Smart City concept is directly related to another concept “Internet of Things (IoT)”. IoT  leverages ubiquitous connectivity, Big Data and analytics are enabling Smart City initiatives all over the world.

Lastly, we don’t want to miss what our audience suggested.  After we published our post “5 Internet of Things Startups to watch out for in 2016”, our audience suggested one IoT  startup for Smart City – AUTOMATSKI. In the company’s website, they define themselves as:

  • Global Pioneer in IoT, Headquartered in London, U.K.
  • One of Top Global IoT Companies in the World
  • An IoT Platform & Solutions company
  • Offers every offering its Customers need to develop, consume and offer Large Scale End-to-End IoT Solutions

In summary, no matter how you define Smart City, there are two key elements should be included in the concept – “technology” and “sustainability”.

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3 thoughts on “What is Smart City and Who are the Key Players

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