How Do Smart Cities Use Data and Technology?

How many apps do you have on your phone? How often do you check them? Would you ever think of using an app to improve public utilities? Smart Cities are!  

In Amsterdam the app Mobypark lets you rent out your parking space, which generates data about parking demand and traffic flow. Additionally, this cuts down on the time that cars are idling while looking for a parking space, which takes an average of 20 minutes, so apps like these can help reduce CO2 emissions. With increased data collection and smart traffic monitoring, the city can also provide information about traffic and best routes to take – which reduces travel time for individuals and car emissions. Other functions of apps include Street Bump in Boston which alerts the city if you hit a pothole.

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What are Smart Cities?

Infrastructure, often intimately connected with civil engineering, provides the backbone and structure that serves various spaces, such as cities or countries. It provides roads and sidewalks for transportation, a water supply for people to drink, sewers to deal with waste, and much more. In the past, infrastructure design and construction has been reactive. It was a response to an event, like a natural disaster, or a local issue such as flooding or fires. Now we are looking for infrastructure to be proactive and work to solve multiple problems with dynamic solutions, like Smart Cities.

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