What is a Smart City, Smarter City, Intelligent City, Connected City?

A smart city (also smarter city) uses digital technologies to enhance performance and well being, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens.  Key ‘smart’ sectors include transport, energy, health care, water and waste.  A smart city should be able to respond faster to city and global challenges than one with a simple ‘transactional’ relationship with its citizens.

Interest in smart cities is motivated by major challenges, including climate change, economic restructuring, the move to online retail and entertainment, ageing populations, and pressures on public finances.  The terms ‘intelligent city’, ‘connected city’ and ‘digital city’ are also used.

Key enabling technologies for Smart Cities include the Internet of Things (IoT), public Wi-Fi, ubiquitous cellular coverage and smartphone apps.  

Smartphone and smartphone apps, will be the face of the Smart City and bridge the users to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, information, services and the community.   

Smartphones and smartphone apps will also be key to bridging the “digital divide” for Smart Cities and their citizens.  Studies note that variations in income have major impact on the ability to access, use and adopt new technology.  Groups that have traditionally been on the other side of the digital divide are often using wireless connections to go online and are likely to use their smartphone as their main source of Internet access.

Smart City mobile applications are cornerstones of a Smart City.