Smart Cities: the next step in connected technology

Smart technology is everywhere. Whether you realise it or not, it is surrounding us in our everyday lives from the device in your pocket, to smart appliances at home. Now, we are seeing this new technology revolutionise the very cities we live in.

The UK’s technology industry is growing 32% faster than other sectors, so it’s no surprise that this is where city planners are turning their attention*. Cities are no longer being re-built, but instead smart technology is being carefully integrated into the infrastructure to make local areas better places to live and to help manage and transform city assets such as water, transport and education, to make them more sustainable.

Seemingly straight out of a sci-fi film, the ‘smart city’ concept is now one of the most used phrases in urban-development. Day-to-day objects are becoming connected, a revolution also know as the ‘Internet of Things’, and analysts have suggested that by 2020 there will be 25 billion connected objects globally. These devices collect data to learn more about city life including air pollution, travel patterns and even human behaviour to help make life simpler for city dwellers.

Manchester is one UK city that is already starting to employ this type of technology through its CityVerve project. Plans include ‘talkative bus stops’ that enable bus operators to see when people are waiting for services and also adding sensors to parks and walking routes to encourage physical exercise.

Similarly, a project by Lendlease is also being trialled in London, where the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle area of South London is becoming ‘smarter’ through the use of an app, allowing residents to get to know each other and make the neighbourhood more of a community.

With technology said to separate ourselves from the ‘real world’, this ‘smart city’ concept could work to bring people together, and if used on a wider scale, this opinion on technology could be changed, making our cities a much more connected and ultimately happier place to be.

For more information on the Manchester CityVerve Project visit the website here.

Source: *The Guardian