The world is rapidly becoming more urban. More and more people are moving into cities as populations grow and technology brings people together. Within the next five years, there will be a staggering 221 cities with more than one million people in China alone.
With the significance of urban communities on the ascent, it merits thinking about what this pattern in metropolitan size and degree will mean for the improvement of the advanced peculiarity ordinarily alluded to as the "shrewd city."
The Historical Importance of the Metropolis
Cities have long been the central hubs from which most human advancements have originated historically. From a single urban center, the Roman Republic conquered the ancient world. The Renaissance flourished as it spread rapidly from major cities across Europe. Christianity's early success was largely attributable to its urban adherent base.
The point is that cities have been crucial to human history because they have frequently concentrated political and industrial power, fostered forward-thinking development, and pioneered innovations and ideologies that have shaped the future.
The sheer scope of what is possible begins to expand exponentially when the subject is brought up to the present day and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the concept of the "smart city" are taken into consideration.
Having said that, the following are a few of the ways that smart cities might be able to help pave a technological way into the future of humanity.
Smart Food for Smart Cities
An actual "smart" city appears to incorporate more than just a straightforward sci-fi decor, despite the fact that the idea of a "smart city" typically conjures up images of a sleek, metallic Asimovian cityscape dotted with flying cars and solar panels in abundance.
Future smart cities must embrace a holistic, sustainable mindset that considers all aspects of life, including food, in addition to flashy, cutting-edge technology. Until humankind can sort out some way to fabricate replicators in Star Trekkian design, developing food, as it was done in the good 'ol days should do.
This has traditionally been done in rural areas. The food is being harvested and shipped into cities so that it can be eaten by the urban populations that are primarily reliant on the industry. Even though this has worked in the past, it hasn't been a perfect system because it takes a lot of resources and people to move food and sell it. Additionally, this naturally generates a "jugular vein," making cities that are overly dependent vulnerable.
Future smart cities will need to increase their own food production in order to overcome this disadvantage. Metropolitan horticulture is now normally rehearsed by numerous people and can incorporate a wide range of approaches, for example,
- Rooftop gardening.
- Container gardening.
- Window and balcony gardening.
- Green wall and vertical gardening.
- Raising chickens.
Despite the fact that there is no doubt that urban agriculture is diverse and has the potential to be quite successful, the majority of the urban gardens that are currently in existence are hobby-sized, small-scale operations that have been established by individuals or small communities.
In order to increase the sustainability of entire urban centers, smart city governments need to learn how to scale up the power of urban farming and harness this untapped potential.
This idea of cultivating "smart food" in the center of smart cities can also be extended to include the city's entire biodiversity. The smart cities of the future may be able to successfully construct what would, in effect, equate to healthy, self-sustaining biodomes by legally and financially supporting urban agriculture on a government-wide scale, preserving parks, and protecting greenery.
A couple of years prior, the carbon-diminishing understanding known as Paris COP21 set before urban communities a way towards ecologically sound goals. In their efforts to improve in the near future, this emphasized climate change, sustainability, and resilience as key performance indicators (KPIs).
Drives like these have an unmistakable and clear objective in the transportation business. Petroleum product vehicles are now a blight on the climate overall. However, the concentration of gasoline-burning automobiles, trucks, planes, trains, ships, and other vehicles in cities has had a devastating impact on the environment both locally and globally.
Fortunately, emerging technologies like electric cars, effective public transportation, and even ride-sharing services have already contributed significantly to a significant decrease in the number of vehicles used for daily commuting. Future shrewd urban areas can almost certainly exploit this pattern — combined with the unfolding time of self-driving vehicles — to control their cities towards viable transportation arrangements that expect next to zero vehicle proprietorship and insignificant outflows through super proficient use.
Sustainable transportation and urban agriculture are two very specific ways that smart cities can grow in the future. Notwithstanding, one of the less unmistakable yet apparently more significant advancements that look good for the savvy city representing things to come is the idea of cognizant free enterprise.
In recent years, contemporary business trends like corporate social responsibility have contributed to raising awareness of numerous irresponsible and harmful business practices. Conscious capitalism, on the other hand, extends this idea that businesses should look "beyond the bottom line."
While they can and ought to in any case esteem productivity — all things considered, that is the reason they're good to go — organizations that training cognizant private enterprise take on values and morals that mirror humankind's advancement, requirements, and current condition overall. It operates on four guiding principles and takes into account silent partners like the environment that cannot speak for themselves:
- Having a higher calling beyond simply making a profit.
- Considering the entire ecosystem of their business and not just the upper echelon of investors and owners.
- Leading with a “we” mentality.
- Purposefully cultivating a culture of trust, care, and cooperation.
What does this all have to do with how smart cities will develop in the future? Metropolitan focuses are overwhelmed by organizations, a large number of which have generally given little notice to their environmental elements. However, as more businesses realize the short- and long-term benefits of adopting a conscious capitalist mindset, they will likely be more willing to actively improve the cities in which they coexist.
This may result in a greater emphasis on development, charitable endeavors, and investments in sustainable practices like Fair Trade, all of which may be essential to the continued growth and well-being of smart cities worldwide.
New Frontiers in Energy Efficiency
Brilliant urban communities have proactively become almost inseparable from effectiveness. Truth be told, there are numerous energy-effective prescribed procedures currently being used, for example,
- Using energy-efficient appliances.
- Washing clothes in cold water and hanging them to dry.
- Installing smart thermostats.
- Taking cooler, shorter showers.
- Lowering the temperature on water heaters.
The widespread utilization of thermal energy imaging by means of drones (dronegenuity dot com) is one method by which the cities of the future are likely to elevate the concept of energy efficiency to new heights. Thermal energy imaging has become more accessible to smaller businesses and even homeowners as the cost of the necessary equipment has decreased.
Using a thermographic camera to scan a building and pinpoint precisely where the most energy is being lost, this practice is remarkably straightforward yet effective. The rising utilization of this innovation will empower brilliant urban communities in the future to keep on expanding their energy proficiency and, likewise, both their manageability and their eco-accommodating nature.
Smart Cities Leading the Way
It is impossible to accurately, especially in detail, predict the future. However, it is possible to approximate what the future may hold by observing current trends like urban gardening, thermal energy imaging, and sustainable transportation.
In addition, it is difficult to avoid drawing the conclusion that cities, in particular, will experience unprecedented advancements in sustainability and efficiency in the years to come when conscious capitalism is taken into consideration.
A natural convergence of progressive thinkers occurs when business leaders and forward-thinking minds are concentrated in urban centers. In the not-too-distant future, this will likely result in some of the most advanced, efficient, and environmentally friendly cities that are possible. This creates an incubating effect that leads to a cutting-edge pattern of development that is constantly evolving.