When all things are connected via the Internet, everything will be redefined and the world will become dramatically more convenient. Various things are being done all over the world aiming for a smart city. This time, I would like to introduce an article about smart cities.
In urban development, urban development called "smart cities" is attracting attention. Cities around the world, not just Japan, are making efforts to realize smart cities. What kind of cities do you specifically mean by smart cities? This time, we will introduce what kind of city is a smart city, the social background that promotes the realization of smart cities, and examples overseas.
What is a smart city?
A smart city is a city where people can live comfortably by utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as IoT and AI to improve the quality of life and services by streamlining infrastructure such as energy and transportation networks. A city that uses AI to analyze data collected by governments and companies and makes use of it to make it easier for residents to live can be called a smart city.
Traditional smart city initiatives have focused on "individual field-specific" methods that individually solve problems such as energy. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in "cross-disciplinary" efforts to solve a wide range of issues such as energy, education, medical care, and transportation by utilizing advanced technology.
Technology adopted in smart cities
The following technologies can be considered as technologies that can be adopted in smart cities.
Communication technology that is the basis of information transmission, such as 5G and Wi-Fi environments
Data utilization technology that collects huge amounts of data and is useful for predicting disasters and sharing information
Sensing technologies such as temperature sensors and accelerometers
New applied technologies such as autonomous driving and drones
Beginning with the development of urban information and communication infrastructure, smart cities are conducting technical collaboration to collect, organize, and use city data that has not been available until now.
Background to the promotion of smart cities
As the world's population continues to grow and concentrate in urban areas, it is predicted that energy consumption and traffic will increase in the near future, causing problems such as environmental deterioration and traffic congestion. In developed countries, aging infrastructure and dealing with an aging society are also issues for the future.
Smart cities, which include a review of energy supply and streamlining of infrastructure, are being promoted all over the world as part of efforts to solve various problems in cities. Japan faces many challenges ahead of other developed countries, such as the declining birthrate and aging population, frequent disasters, and the aging infrastructure created during the period of high economic growth, but these issues can be solved together. As a method, smart cities are expected.
Difference from SuperCity
An initiative similar to smart cities is a concept called "super city." Smart cities aim to improve the efficiency of infrastructure such as energy and transportation by utilizing advanced technology and solve urban problems, but previous efforts have been limited to empirical research in individual fields such as energy and advanced technology. It was.
On the other hand, in SuperCity, we will improve the lives of residents by linking data from all fields related to daily life such as transportation, payment, and medical care, and optimizing the functions of the city. Another characteristic of SuperCity is that legislation has been put in place to ease regulations that hinder the use of advanced technology in a limited area.
Overseas cases of smart cities
Smart cities are being tested in cities around the world. Here are some of the cases that are being tackled overseas.
"ET Brain" in Hangzhou, China
In Hangzhou, China, we are trying to solve the problems of cities by utilizing the AI platform "ET Brain" developed by Alibaba Group, a major IT company. By utilizing a mechanism that automatically switches signals according to the traffic volume and the dispatch of emergency vehicles, and recognizes and reports the occurrence of accidents and traffic violations with camera images, it is possible to eliminate traffic congestion and prevent traffic accidents. It is useful for reducing damage.
"Link NYC" in New York, USA
In New York, USA, old public telephones are being replaced with "Link", a tablet-type information terminal that can use high-speed Internet. With "Link", you can use public Wi-Fi for free, check maps, make free calls to the United States, and charge devices using a USB port. "Link" is creating an environment where citizens and tourists can use the network more easily.
Examples of initiatives in Japan
In Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's "Next Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration Project" has been implemented in the following four cities since 2011, and research on smart cities has been conducted under the initiative of private companies.
Yokohama-city kanagawa prefecture
Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture
Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture
Kyoto Prefecture Keihanna Science City
In these four cities, demonstration experiments such as the introduction of household energy management systems and EV (electric vehicle) sharing services have been conducted, and the effects of reducing CO2 emissions have been achieved. In addition, smart city initiatives are being promoted in various parts of Japan, such as Kashiwa City in Chiba Prefecture, Takamatsu City in Kagawa Prefecture, and Sapporo City in Hokkaido.
Summary The purpose of smart cities is to create a comfortable city to live in
A smart city is an initiative that aims to solve problems such as traffic congestion and energy problems caused by the concentration of population in urban areas by incorporating advanced technology.
The purpose of smart cities is to solve the problems of cities and to create a city where people can live comfortably, and it is not just about introducing advanced technology. In addition, in order to realize a smart city, it is important to collaborate not only with local governments but also with various companies with advanced technology and know-how. In January 2020, a plan was announced for companies to take the initiative in developing an experimental city that utilizes cutting-edge technology.
It will be necessary for local governments and companies to work together while thinking about what kind of issues they want to solve and how to realize a city where people can live comfortably.