Philips-CityFarm-1_edited-Smart-Cities

Smart cities are a tough category to measure. Lots of towns and metropolises around the world aim to be “smart.” However, there are many areas of smartness from transport to power, lighting to social benefits, and many ways of measuring them. Sure, newer smart cities like Dubai and city-states like Singapore have an edge but how about everyone else?

Philips Lighting, renowned for adding smart lighting to airports, towns, and cities is trying to find out by questioning 150 experts in the field. The report, you can find here, perhaps unsurprisingly lists London, Barcelona, and Singapore among the leaders, from 42 candidates, but there’s lots of fine detail.

Older cities have a lot of infrastructure to put in place to catch up, but they can and are working toward smart city goals. Cardiff in Wales is one example that partnered with Philips to install 14,000 connected lights. These and an open and expandable infrastructure provide lighting as a service to the city, with the Dutch company handling the core work.

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IoT and 5G are essential for smart cities

The rollout of 5G mobile networks will be a key turning point for intelligent cities, allowing new levels of connectivity, without reliance on old networking infrastructure. Cities with 5G can take real-time data and refine travel, transport, parking and air quality rules to help people travel faster or avoid chokepoints.

A mix of IT and green technology can help cities become cleaner, making life better for citizens. Smart technology can help improve sanitation, recycling and encourage healthier living while reducing power consumption and wasted energy. It may take decades for most cities to be considered truly green. But, as long as the political will is there, a smart city could be a great place to live.

And we’ll need them, as, by 2050, 6.5 billion people will be crammed into these cities, making even the smallest individual efficiency saving count for a great deal.

Photo credit: Philps Lighting
Source: Smart Cities Report by Philps Lighting

Chris Knight

I’ve been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.