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Smarter Not Harder: 3 Benefits from Smart Cities

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Smarter Not Harder: 3 Benefits from Smart Cities

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Until recently, if you wanted the benefits of living in an urban environment, you simply dealt with all the problems that came along with it. But what if there were a way to enjoy the upside of a city, without the need to contend with its drawbacks?

For example, anyone who hasn’t been to New York City, but has heard lines from Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ hit song, “Empire State of Mind” might be led to believe that New York City is some kind of utopian paradise.

There is a lot to love about living in the city – access to museums, architecture, the convenience of public transit, access to a better job pool, etc. At the same time, there are many downsides to living in a metropolitan area – traffic, crowded subways, rubbish in the streets, noise pollution, increased crime rates – and that’s just a small sample.

Fixing these is the goal of smart cities. Smart cities “optimize city functions and promote economic growth while also improving the quality of life for citizens by using smart technologies and data analysis.”

Smart Cities in a nutshell

Without technology, optimal allocation and utilization of resources in a city is pretty much impossible. Most citizens are too busy looking out for their own well-being to worry about things like energy consumption and have limited access available for informed decision-making.

When a city becomes “smart”, a central body that collects real-time data through various types of sensors is implemented. This central body can then analyze huge amounts of multi-dimensional data and provide recommendations for optimized actions that benefit everyone.

For example, in a smart city, air quality and traffic levels can be monitored to optimize traffic flow and reduce pollution. Smart streetlights can be turned on only when there is activity in the area to optimize energy usage. Drivers in smart cities can be informed in real-time of where to find parking spots while traffic light patterns can be adjusted in real-time.

Smart cities improve quality of life across multiple dimensions utilizing connected technologies, IoT, and other innovative and advanced solutions. Here are 3 of the biggest benefits to smartening up and building smart cities:

  1. Enhanced Safety: One of the most important benefits of smart cities is enhanced citizen-safety. Smart technologies such as license plate recognition and tracking, microphone-enabled gunshot detectors, and accident sensors that automatically call for EMS can be deployed to reduce crime rates, protect lives, and aid law enforcement. In Detroit, violent crime rates have dropped by 50% in areas where smart technologies have been administered.
  2. Reduced Carbon Footprint: According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), cities account for 65% of global energy use and 70% of human-made carbon emissions. Smart traffic management optimizes traffic flow, smart energy meters help users consume less energy, smart parking space locators reduce time spent searching for parking, and other smart technologies drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Improved Public Utilities: In smart cities, technology can be applied to greatly enhance the efficiency of public utilities. For example, in Barcelona, a smart-waste collection service automatically transports waste from public containers to a centralized waste-management facility through a vacuum-powered network of underground pipes, reducing the need for public waste collection as well as bad odors throughout the city. In Cape Town, South Africa, a Smart water metering initiative that tracks and alerts users of their water consumption has helped reduce water consumption in residential homes by 40-60%.

Imagine a New York City without the rubbish. With clean air. Less crime. Flowing traffic. As the adoption of smart technologies around the world accelerates, it’s not just a better NYC that we can hope for, but better cities around the world.

 

About Guardhat

Guardhat is pioneering end-to-end connected worker safety solutions for industrial workers. We offer cutting-edge, wearable technology; a proprietary connected worker platform – unrivaled in its ability to ingest, manage and analyze unstructured data; easy to deploy monitoring and reporting software; and a growing ecosystem of partner integrations.

Guardhat enables companies to monitor worker location, health, and work environment to shorten reaction time and help proactively solve safety challenges. We hold 15 patents in real time location systems, wearable solution design, and connected worker software. If you are interested in our connected safety solutions, come visit us at the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerate 2021, or contact us to arrange a demo.

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