Big Data has not finished surprising us; they come to revolutionize the economy by transforming the approach to the whole sectors. The analysis of massive data in real-time to make concrete decisions is a major challenge for the cities of tomorrow. The biggest potential to use the power of Big Data is also in the field Smart City. Will the data make our Smarter Cities? Yes, and the transformation has already begun.
The Smart City is a reality
Less pollution, waste management optimized, more parking problems and even an optimized energy management as necessary … The fantasy of the Smart City is not new, but the concept has been dragging on for years, even decades, with the sweet dream that the city of tomorrow will improve our lives. For now, the experiments about smart cities remained limited to sporadic trials. But the emergence of Big Data and connected objects has changed the situations.
The examples of smart cities are now visible. One example is the City of Songdo, South Korea, about 60 km from Seoul. Cisco has launched the Smart City projects since 2000.
- RFID chips can track the real-time traffic, and every person to know the live traffic conditions;
- Waste is collected directly from the residents, as required. More trucks to collect garbage;
- Connected bracelets can detect abnormalities such as missing children on the way to school;
- The lighting of street lighting is done in real-time, depending on occupancy.
Big Data and IoT offer great opportunities
The digital components such as Big Data and IoT are not an indispensable component for Smart City. The design of buildings or districts, the provision of shared vehicle systems, energy management or flow of people or vehicles do not necessarily pass through the digital network. However, they are full of opportunities.
For example, Big Data from the connected objects can be used to model urban environments and reduce energy consumption. Now the Internet of Things offers its very significant potential for relatively reasonable costs, and the data from the fixed or movable sensors have enabled cities to provide better services, optimize operations, reduce risk and improve security.
How Big Data can make our cities smarter?
The example of Songdo and other initiatives gives ideas to major cities around the world. What is interesting in these applications is that the people themselves become a channel of information feedback that will help cities to further optimize their services. How Big Data can help cities become smarter?
- It can help reduce emissions and drastically limit pollution. An intelligent traffic management can be implemented using sensors in roads to decongest areas and better balance the traffic flows.
- It can provide an answer to the eternal problem of parking. Again, with sensors, a car will soon be guided to a parking with available parking spots, the exact location will be sent by the location-based applications like GPS;
- It can bring a real reduction in energy consumption. The development of smart grids (intelligent network electrics) is a good example. Optimizing energy production, distribution and consumption becomes possible with the data users;
- Finally, it can respond to management issues. The density is not the only answers to the cities of tomorrow. Depending on the required functional diversity, architectural choices can be made in an informed manner.