Is ‘Smart City’ like that Jetsons city?

There are some common reactions when someone first hears the term smart city: “Is my city stupid?” or “Is smart city like that Jetsons city?” This is the problem with labels, and nothing is more natural in people’s minds than creating a label for an unknown word or situation.

Smart city derives from English smart city. The translation for smart doesn’t exactly reflect what the word smart carries.

A smart city is a city that uses technology and planning to improve the lives of citizens and make good use of available resources in a humane and sustainable way.

Population lives in cities

The percentage of the world population living in large cities is expected to reach 70% in 2050, according to the United Nations (UN), which puts immense pressure on the demand for resources, infrastructure, housing, among others. Without planning and real understanding of the problems, cities become a melting pot of social and environmental problems, causing a large part of the population to live in poor conditions.

People live and work in cities, not in states, let alone in countries. The use of more technology and planning is vital so that managers can provide better quality public services that have a great impact on citizens’ daily lives.

Facilitate access to education, improve access to water and electricity in an inclusive way and increase public safety

This is the case of reducing or eliminating queues at basic health posts, a situation resolved in Curitiba (PR) with an application that allows you to make appointments online, to facilitate access to education, to improve access to water and electricity in a inclusive and increase public security. With regard to private investment, a smart city attracts more companies and universities and, consequently, provides more training and employment opportunities for the population at all levels.

The indicators

It cannot be categorically said that a city is intelligent or not. Cities around the world may have good indicators of urban mobility, for example, but have poor levels of air quality. Some may excel in entrepreneurship and social inclusion, while others may have many challenges in security and public governance. Currently, there are international standards that seek to standardize the concept, such as ISO 37.120, 37.121 and 37.122.

smart citySmart City should not be exactly like the city of the Jetsons, it just needs to facilitate the population’s access to basic services using technology in a strategic way.Source: medium

As the theme is very recent, although it has been discussed in other ways for decades, especially at the Smart City World Congress, it is important to put the issue on the daily agenda and create discussions between the main actors that shape a city, such as public managers, companies private universities, academia and organized civil society.

With the advancement of technology, such as the Internet of Things, it is possible to create management models that optimize resources in order to improve the way people live in cities – in urban infrastructure, mobility, security, health, education , in generating new jobs to foster a smarter society.

Data sharing and solutions

Another fundamental factor for the development of cities is the sharing of data between public authorities and the private sector in order to foster practical solutions that benefit traffic management and mobility, security policies and public lighting, based on data available in various applications on the movement of people (users). All of this is enhanced by a large network with a stable connection, the 5G, which is in the process of being installed in Brazil.

Finally, it can be said that smart city is that city that integrates these solutions and services in an intelligent way, thinking about the well-being of the population and giving the citizen a participatory role, in which it helps to apply the solutions in a sustainable way and makes day-to-day use.

An event such as the Smart City Session, the first fully digital edition of the largest congress of smart cities in the world, supported by Fira Barcelona, ​​which will be held by iCities on 8 and 9 December, provides this necessary environment for information debates, as well as a business connection environment, knowledge generation and networking. There will be 2 days of contact with experts invited to address topics such as the legacy of the pandemic, resilience in the urban space, governance and economy and the search for happiness and well-being in the cities. Here is our invitation for readers to participate and bring their contributions.


Beto Marcelino, biweekly columnist of TecMundo, is an agronomist, founding partner and director of government relations at iCities, which organizes the Smart City Expo Curitiba, the largest event in Brazil on smart cities with the seal of FIRA Barcelona.

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