Smart Cities – reducing the carbon footprint with internet of things (IoT)
The vast growth of world’s population forces more and more people to move into big cities, as you have far better job opportunities there than in most landside areas. The organisational aspects of cities suffer more and more beneath the rapid expand. Looking at today’s cities, you can see that most of them are chaotic, uncoordinated and polluted. The main reason for such disordered cities is that the city council has not adjusted its ecosystem on time, although there is a solution to most of these problems: a smart city.
In order to avoid such problems, researches assumed these problems and came up with the idea to apply the smart city initiative to solve these problems. One research identified six critical factors which form the foundation of a smart city. These six subjects are Social, Management, Economic, Legal, Technology and Sustainability. Each of these factors is affecting and getting affected by every other factor at the same time, so only the combination of all these Factors create a solid base for the smart city.
The key point of smart cities is called internet of thigs (IoT). As all devices, even the most simple one like toasters or waste bins get an internet connection, with IoT you can collect enormous amounts of data. This data is used to optimize all processes needed in a city. For example, using smart waste containers, the city council can plan exactly when and where the waste collection has to go and guarantee the fastest and most efficient route for their job. However, it is not only one process which can be optimized with the use of IoT. Another useful invention would be smart traffic lights. An uncoordinated traffic and traffic lights cause nowadays too many traffic jams. Sensors on traffic lights would make it possible to not only optimize the traffic control on one street crossing but also to get an live overview about the situation on all streets and if needed to redirect cars about other, more efficient routes. That would help to reduce the travel time of everybody going somewhere by car and by this way of course reduce the pollution in cities. The same principle is being used for smart power management systems. As most countries try to get their power from renewable energy systems, but power storage is a big issue, with IoT it is possible to switch on electrical consumers at a time when renewable energy provides more power than needed.
The ongoing population explosion which takes place in cities nowadays, faces a lot of problems in organisational and environmental subjects. Thanks to the usage of the newest information and communication technologies around the cities, it became possible to not only overcome these problems but also to improve the sustainability, efficiency and quality of living in such cities.