The Lagos State Government and the City of Dubai on Monday entered into a historic partnership that will see Lagos emerge as the first Smart City in Africa. [more…]
But what exactly is a smart city?
According to Wikipedia, a smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple ICT solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets. These assets include schools, libraries,transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services.
The goal of building a smart city is to improve quality of life by using technology to improve the efficiency of services and meet residents’ needs. ICT allows government officials to interact directly with the community and the city infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city, how the city is evolving, and how to enable a better quality of life.
Through the use of sensors integrated with real-time monitoring systems, data are collected from citizens and devices – then processed and analyzed. The information and knowledge gathered are keys to tackling inefficiency.
Smart city means smart living
In other words, a smart city is a connected city. A city whereby all the systems ”talk” to one another to improve efficiency. Let us attempt an example of a smart city experience – imagine taking a bus from Lekki to Marina. Your phone will alert you as to when the next bus is due so you don’t have to wait at the bus stop.
Meanwhile, the central office would have been alerted about your wish to take a bus to Marina and would immediately send you the traffic report and alternative forms of transport either by train or by ferry.
Because of your chosen destination, you will be informed about the sales going on at the nearby grocery stores in Marina so you can do your shopping. Another alert might tell you that if you spend an extra 10 minutes at the store, by the time you get home, your electricity tariff would have dropped into off peak billing so it pays to wait a little.
One of the most practical aspects of a smart city however is in the area of security. High powered high definition cameras with upwards of 5 km focus and clarity are used to monitor various parts of the city. With cloud storage and huge data centres, footage from crime scenes, coupled with face recognition technology means that perpetrators of crimes will be caught.
It is not a good idea to commit traffic offences in a smart city.
Smart cities are not cheap. However, the increased efficiency brought about by the development means that in the long run, smart cities will pay for themselves.
It must be noted at this point that the smart city being mentioned in the adjoining story is actually a company which specialises in developing smart cities around the world.
Lagos (as usual) will be the first smart city developed in Africa by SmartCity the Dubai based company.
(image courtesy of www.ogmvoice.com)