Cities should focus on residents when implementing smart technological solutions
April 25, 2017
During the process of developing towards a smart city, residents, that are users of city’s services, must not be left behind. Residents will only be satisfied with the solutions that will bring them extra value in form of better quality of life and improvement in city life in general.
Recent research on residents’ trust in IoT, smart homes development and mobile systems development, in which people all around the world were interviewed about their readiness to adopt the changes, brought about by IoT technology, have shown that people are overwhelmingly in favor of technological progress and developing solutions for smart cities. Key benefits of digital technology for users are mainly the development of smart homes, improvement in public services, reduction of traffic congestions and improvement of public transport, advancement in air quality, reduction of energy costs and the like.
Despite the general affection for smart technologies but over 90 % of respondents highlights their concerns regarding safety and privacy of data, in particular personal data. More than half of the people are concerned about the integration of data, collected on homes and buildings. Collection and usage of smart-home data present an even bigger issue for the respondents than the disposal of personal information on health condition. Location data and their use for the purposes of smart cities are also considered among the most sensitive information.
Cities will have to face this problem as soon as possible and accordingly adapt their policies and management, since according to the experts IoT is experiencing a great progress. By 2020, over 60 billion devices are said to be connected to IoT. This means that every hour almost a million new devices connect to the internet.
Distrust may represent a major obstacle in introduction of new solutions and therefore a key difference between a successful or unsuccessful execution of a project. The solution to surpassing this uncertainty and distrust lies in openness and transparency of city operations and adequate collaboration with the residents. Cities and majors must be aware that their long-term success, growth and development rely on the major support from the residents. Cities might not go bankrupt, if they don’t provide adequate access to public services, quality of life and development prospects to their residents. But they might end up as cities, abandoned by educated people and prospective companies and unattractive to the tourists.
However, if people receive key and comprehensive information on the main challenges of the city, on key events, planned and current projects and investments in key development areas, they will better understand why the major and city authorities make certain decisions and how they arrange city’s budgetary resources. It is an important advantage of the SmartCityPlatform that it not only enables the communication between residents and cities but also provides the adequate key and comprehensive information about the activity and development of the city. That way residents are given quality information, they better understand managerial and budgetary decisions of city authorities and can more easily accept and adapt to the changes, brought about by introduction of new technologies.