“A woman drives to the outskirts of the city and steps directly on to a train; her electric car then drives itself off to park and recharge. A man has a heart attack in the street; the emergency services send a drone equipped with a defibrillator to arrive crucial minutes before an ambulance can. A family of flying maintenance robots lives atop an apartment block – able to autonomously repair cracks or leaks and clear leaves from the gutters.”
This is how the article “The truth about smart cities: ‘In the end, they will destroy democracy’ by Guardian’s news starts in order to introduce to the audience what a smart city will may look like.
By reading this article we can see that there is juxtaposition between the speakers, of the event “Re.Work Future Cities Summit”, of what the purpose of a smart city is and what the advantages of the smart city should be.
The majority of people imagine smart city as an efficient robot and that is because of the existence of the internet connectivity that we can access everywhere and the development of electronics which as the time pass they shrink as much as possible.
Few of the speakers imagine that a smart city’s aims should be all about its efficiency, optimization, predictability, convenience and security.They are mentioning on driverless cars, sensor cameras, drones that will track every movement the citizens, ways of finding out if there is a cycle-hire rack in the near area or checking the traffic etc.
However this brings to the surface a lot of issues. As an example is the privacy of every citizen. By having all those sensor cameras and drones all over the city none of the citizens will have what we call a “private life”. And who will be the people in charge that will know every move of the citizens? Will the citizens vote for those people? Who tells that we can trust them?” These are a few questions that we have to ask ourselves.
What is more that have been also mentioned to the event is about the failure of a system. Let’s imagine that a city runs with an “operating system”, what will happen if something from the software crashes? Will the city stop “running”.
Moreover, Dan Hill, which is current involved with the Manchester’s current smart city initiative, suggest that a smart city does not have to be a robot city. A smart city should be a city that will make the life of disable people easier or a city which will decrease the levels of carbon dioxide etc.
According to the aforementioned, i will agree with Dan Hill suggestion that a city in order to be called smart it doesn’t have to be a city that will live in a digital era. It can be a city that will benefit people in the aspects of health, environment etc.
A project that i found interesting and constructive is the ” Opticits” initial urban resilience assessment project in Barcelona, Spain! it is a project with Waspmote nodes that feeds into a city management dashboard so as to monitor levels of the river, CO2, fire sensors, among the 40 different types of sensors deployed.