The contributions of information technologies for next-generation cities

Published October 21, 2015   |   

With the faster maturity and stability of a bevy of cutting-edge technologies and enabling tools in the hot and happening ICT space, there is a greater focus and extra zeal by worldwide governments on establishing and sustaining ICT-enabled, safe, sustainable, and smarter cities as a strategic and sparkling gift for their citizens. The highly optimized and organized IT infrastructures, cognitively synchronized and streamlined processes, pioneering architectures, facilitating patterns, service-oriented applications, and integrated platforms are being positioned as the renowned hallmarks for the unprecedented growth of both hardware and software engineering domains in automating, accelerating and augmenting both businesses as well as people in their assignments and obligations.

In the recent past, there is a greater enthusiasm and elucidation on data engineering due to the explosion and enlargement in data sources, sizes, structures, scopes, and speeds. The methods made available for programmatically transitioning data to information and to actionable and timely insights have gained immense adoption and adaption by ICT professionals and data scientists. That is, the domain of knowledge engineering is gaining a fresh lease of life and contributing a lot for the ensuing knowledge era. The incredibly powerful analytical solutions are to make the rough and tough path smooth for pervasively having scores of knowledge services and applications that touch peoples’ lives intimately and intensively.

The widely articulated transformations and disruptions in the ICT space are definitely and decisively empowering the world towards the dreamt knowledge era. That is every tangible thing becomes smart, every kind of physical, mechanical, electrical and electronic devices are becoming smarter. With multiple empowered and connected systems insightfully collaborating, corroborating, and correlating with one another, the days of smartest people is not too far away. There is a strategically sound paradigm shift for the IT field. The business operations are being continuously enabled with the IT adoption and adaption for the last four decades and hereafter every individual in this planet is to be assisted and empowered by the fabulous advancements in the ICT arena.

One noteworthy factor is to extracting insights from data heaps and feeding them into men and machines in time to transform them smart in their actions and reactions. The insights generated and used are bound to bring forth all kinds of context-aware, people-centric, dynamic, sensitive and responsive applications, and services to succulently enhance care, choice, convenience and comfort for people. Every kind of systems, networks, and environments in and around us are set to be seamlessly connected, cognizant, and cognitive in exhibiting the required and relevant smartness and sophistication.

Thereby establishing and sustaining technology-sponsored smarter environments will be common and cheap with the appropriate use of emerging technologies. Smarter cities, a kind of smarter environment, are the direct offshoots of all the distinct advancements in the ICT field. A growing array of citizen-specific applications and services are being formulated and firmed up by inspired minds through the smart leverage of transformational and trend-setting technologies. There are viable and venerable strategies, plans, technologies, tools, practices, platforms, patterns, processes, and products for accelerating the realization of smarter cities across the globe.

The reference architecture for a smarter city comprises the following building blocks.  Infrastructures, architectures, processes, and digital technologies are the definite hallmarks for our cities and therefore they need to go through significant and strategic improvisations and innovations to intrinsically enable the much-promised digital living.

Physical, social, connectivity and cyber infrastructures

Typically our cities comprise energy grids, healthcare facilities, office buildings, living homes, educational campuses, manufacturing plants, entertainment centers, shopping malls, and plazas, eating joints, warehouses, transports and logistics, social utilities, safety and security of people and properties, cultural establishments, etc. Anything that is closely associated with peoples’ personal, professional, and social lives comes under city offerings and operations. Further on, with cities emerging and evolving as prime educational, empowerment, employment-generation and entertainment hubs, the challenges before our cities are really manifold.

The urban connectivity options such as roads, waters, rails, etc. are indispensable for facilitating people movement. The communication networks (wired as well as wireless) with ultra-high bandwidth have to be highly reliable, available, fault-tolerant and secure.  With urban populations grow in an uninhibited fashion due to various reasons, these infrastructures need to be highly scalable, available, redundant to ensure the resiliency, sustainable, and environment-friendly. The optimized utilization of city infrastructures has to be enhanced substantially through the emerging technologies, integrated platforms, process excellence and futuristic architectures as illustrated below.  Clouds (the highly optimized and organized IT infrastructures) are the most vital ingredient for next-generation cities.

 Digital technologies and tools

A variety of city-specific requirements are being met through the smart leverage of pioneering information and communication technologies (ICT) lately. For example, water, waste, garbage, and drainage management tasks are being automated and augmented through the delectable and decisive advancements in the ICT space. There are pervasive computing, ambient communication, ubiquitous sensing, vision, and perception, knowledge discovery and dissemination, and actuation technologies signaling the smooth and sagacious transformation of our cities.

Expressly digitization, cloud, analytics, mobility, social computing and the internet of things (IoT) technologies are positioned to play a very stellar and smart role in bringing forth a bevy of perceptible transitions to our cities in the days ahead. An integrated service-oriented platform with service integration, composition, deployment, delivery modules has to be there to ensure service-oriented cities. A viable governance setup has to be a part and parcel of a smarter city to establish and enforce city and citizen-specific policies.

A book on the enabling technologies and tools for Smarter Cities

Realizing smarter cities is clearly beset with a variety of challenges. However, as articulated above, the continuous penetration of competent and cognitive technologies stands well for IT professionals, city architects, consultants, developers and decision-makers in designing and developing smarter cities, which are prescribed and proclaimed as the hub for pragmatic innovations, entrepreneurial spirit, higher productivity, accountability, auditability, and responsibility.

This book is specifically crafted and composed for expounding all the right and relevant details for readers about the implementation technologies and toolsets. The book also describes the IT products and platforms (from multiple vendors across the globe) simplifying and streamlining the design, composition, deployment, and delivery of city-specific services. The details of this book are in

This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission. Submit your copyright complaints here.