Smart City Strategy Articles

Written by:

Joe Appleton

Joe Appleton

Joe Appleton is a freelance journalist, writer, and author, who focuses on urban mobility solutions. He has a particular interest in smart and sustainable cities.

8 MIN. READ

Smart City Resilience: Mitigating the Risks of Climate Change

By Joe Appleton on Nov 23, 2020 9:05:01 AM

Climate change is a very clear and present danger. Though the term usually conjures up images of melting ice sheets and dying forests, our cities are also particularly vulnerable to it too.

Currently, 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. That percentage is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. Cities are already struggling to mitigate the problems caused by increased population density, and these problems are expected to intensify as other variables such as climate change and extreme weather take hold. To prepare for the future, cities must improve their climate change resilience in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

Topics:

Smart City Sustainability Sustainable Urban Development Sustainable Cities Climate Change Resilience Urban Heat Island Extreme Weather Water Shortage Climate Crisis

11 MIN. READ

Citizen’s Perspectives on Data Privacy in Smart Cities

By Joe Appleton on Nov 2, 2020 10:09:00 AM

As smart cities get smarter, citizens have begun to express concerns about the use of their data, and whether their privacy is being sacrificed for the benefit of big data.

Ever since the concept of a smart city first emerged, it has been clear that technological innovation, intelligent systems, and big data would be three key ingredients to a city’s success. While there’s no clear-cut definition of what a smart city is or has to include (see also our article Redefining the Smart City Concept: A New Smart City Definition), it has been universally acknowledged that the purpose of a smart city is to improve the lives of its residents.

Topics:

Smart City Internet of Things (IoT) Citizens Smart Security Data Privacy Cyber Security Data Protection Security Solutions Digital Infrastructure Connected Devices

9 MIN. READ

The Importance of Cyber Security & Data Protection for Smart Cities

By Joe Appleton on Oct 22, 2020 3:03:09 PM

In 2012, Austrian author Marc Elsberg released his best-selling novel Blackout: Tomorrow Will Be Too Late. It’s a disaster thriller that focuses on cyber-terrorism. A group of disenfranchised hackers manipulates a network of European power stations, destabilizing the grid, and plunging Europe into chaos.

The loss of power is a catalyst that leads to a domino effect of disasters, from food shortages and the devaluation of money to nuclear catastrophes and societal collapse. Elsberg was praised for his meticulous research and realism. Of course, Blackout takes the dangers of a cyber-attack to the extreme, but it’s all within the bounds of possibility.

Though the events that take place in Blackout are a work of fiction, as more cities embrace inter-connectivity and smart technology, the threat of serious cyber-attacks on digital infrastructure is very real. In 2015, a cyber-attack compromised Ukraine’s power grid, compromising corporate date, denying the distribution of energy, disabling IT infrastructure, and destroying countless data files.

As cities get smarter, it begs the question: if a power station can be hacked, what else can be?

Topics:

Smart City Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Security Data Privacy Cyber Security Data Protection Security Solutions Digital Infrastructure Connected Devices

12 MIN. READ

How Smart Cities Are Boosting Citizen Engagement

By Joe Appleton on Oct 19, 2020 10:00:00 AM

According to statistics from the United Nations Population Fund, over half of the planet’s population lives in cities. By the year 2030, it’s expected that around 5 billion people will live in urban hubs. As cities grow larger and have a greater impact on the environment, local governments will have to adapt to ensure that the needs of their citizens are being met.

Civic engagement is a key part of a city’s evolution. Input from citizens can help define the dynamic of a city. Unfortunately, citizen participation rates are lower than ever. In the past, cities could use town hall meetings and surveys to connect with their residents, but due to a number of reasons, modern governments aren’t connecting with their citizens like they used to. This can have numerous negative effects on a city, from an alienated population to the implementation of unpopular policies.

Because of this, it’s necessary for city governments to embrace new methods of inspiring citizen engagement.

Topics:

Crowdsourcing Smart City Crowdfunding Citizen Participation Civic Engagement Competition Governance Citizen Engagement Participatory Budget Survey

11 MIN. READ

How Can Smart Cities Improve Urban Public Health?

By Joe Appleton on Aug 21, 2020 10:30:00 AM

Urban public health is currently in the spotlight as city populations struggle to deal with the threat of COVID-19. As lockdown measures take their toll on urban communities, city dwellers have been forced to see their cities through new eyes, and the results have been worrying.

A study from the UN has found that 68% of the global population will be living in cities and metropolitan areas by 2050. However, many researchers believe that the stats will likely be far higher, and further estimates suggest that up to 90% of the planet’s population could be living in megacities within the next 30 years.

The current coronavirus pandemic has proven that cities will need to adapt if they want to nurture healthier, happier, and safer populations. Urban public health will need to evolve to cater for denser populations, and the potential hazards that go along with it.

Topics:

Public Spaces Smart City Smart Healthcare Covid-19 Urban Public Health Green Spaces Sustainable Mobility Slow Streets

9 MIN. READ

The 15-Minute City: Nurturing Communities For Smarter Cities

By Joe Appleton on Jul 1, 2020 12:38:20 PM

The term “smart city” has a different meaning for different people. For most, it conjures up a vision of a technologically-advanced metropolis, where citizens rely on smart gadgets to go about their daily lives. For others, the smart city concept describes government initiatives based on big data, technology and intelligent processes that improve the quality of life of a city’s residents. These aren’t incorrect definitions, they’re just two sides of a multi-faceted approach to urban development.

Technology and data are essential building blocks for creating a smart city. But it’s the city’s residents that can help enact the biggest changes. By introducing projects that focus on improving the lives of individuals and communities, smart cities can begin to grow on their own.

One of the most talked-about methods of transforming a city into a smarter city is by introducing 15-minute neighborhoods. More commonly known as a 15-minute city, or even a 20-minute city, these strategies focus on improving the lives of residents by making the city more accessible to everyone.

Topics:

Transit Smart City Sustainability Accessibility Urban Planning Urban Mobility Bicycle-Friendly Public Transport Paris 15-Minute City Melbourne Walkable 20-Minute Neighbourhood Hyper-Local

8 MIN. READ

Rethinking Urban Mobility for the Post-Covid City

By Joe Appleton on Jun 15, 2020 12:27:36 PM

There’s a positive aspect of this horror,” the deputy mayor of Paris, Jean-Louis Missika, told the Washington Post. “Never has the city been less polluted. Parisians have much appreciated it, and I think there will be strong changes in the behaviour of people, in terms of movement.” This is a sentiment shared by many leaders across the globe.

Despite the hardships caused by the spread of Covid-19, the current situation presents a unique opportunity. Now is an ideal time to revolutionize the way we live in urban environments.

It’s a quiet revolution that has already begun.

Topics:

Smart Mobility Barcelona Air Quality Urban Mobility Mobility Bicycle-Friendly Public Transport Air Pollution Sustainable Urban Mobility Traffic Congestion e-Scooter Berlin Milan Brussels Pop-up Bike Lanes Cycling Infrastructure Post-Covid City Covid-19 Paris Cycling Car-Usage Lockdown Anne Hidalgo Transport Solutions Pedestrian 15-Minute City Superblock

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