Smart City II

smart city II

More than a century ago, the Dutch came up with the terminology ‘Planned city’, and since then we have had the Urban city, the Industrial city, the Manufacturing city, the Garden city, the Green city, the Eco city, the Sustainable city, the Resilient city, the Tech city, the Inclusive city, the Livable city,  the Intelligent city  and as late as early  21st century,  we have had the  Digital city & the Future city. Smart City is a terminology which has transpired from,  and after these terminologies.  Smart City identifies and provides solutions for the Problems and fulfills the Needs of our daily lives in today’s times, appropriately, in an effective, efficient manner.  An ideal Smart City has all the components combined, put together for optimal results.  Remember the metaphor answer of the ‘Light Bulb’and the ‘Telephone’ ? The dictionary definition of the word Smart, includes Clever, Intelligent, Lively (conscious) Intelligence, Carefully dressed, Well groomed.  We use the word City, because cities are the maximum boundaries, the limit, which can be covered easily and well managed considering its smaller sizes than an entire State or a Canton or a Prefecture. It is easier and faster for small cities to turn it into a Smart City, while for Mid-size, Large, Mega & Metropolitan cities more than one clusters of Management, points of control and monitoring centers, can be considered and implemented, as the services are provided to / accessed by, a larger number of population.  Today populations in cities around the world, vary from 100k to 15+Million.  By 2030 more than 60% of world’s population is expected to live in cities. Thus the words ‘Smart’ and the ‘City’. Smart City is the invention, having emanated from the NEED, to live a good, healthy, happy, safe, secure, easy, productive life, Intelligently, by solving most of our problems that we face today and fulfilling our needs, which has been proven abundantly in many parts of the world. We must also keep in mind that, as of yet, there is not one complete Ideal Smart city, which has all the components. An American Professor, Elizabeth Geen, way back in 1966, said and I quote, “There is an absence of an image of our future cities…..too many of us are rooted in rural traditions, searching for security and conformity, unwilling to commit to ourselves to the solutions of the problems of the city in which we live, and even more unwilling to pay for their solutions.” Today we have solutions and answers to most of our problems, in Smart City.  It is the necessity of the time. If we do not fulfill our this necessity, with all the components of a Smart City, then it is only us, who would lose & to be blamed and shall be left behind, while the world and good life passes by.  Every goal and vision has a structure.  To accomplish the goal of a Smart City, requires bold decisions and a structure.  Information, Communications, Technologies and Environment should be the foundations for the Continue Reading

Smart City

smart city

What is a Smart City ?  Why the word SMART ?   Why is it just for a city, and not a state or a nation ? These are some of the fundamental questions, which as of yet, have not been answered.  In this series on Smart City, we try to find these and many more answers. We know about an Industrial City or a Manufacturing City, which were as a result of the Industrial Age / Revolution and the Manufacturing boom of mass production. May it be the invention of the Wheel, the Steam Engine, the Light bulb, the Telephone or the Television, and hordes of all other, have changed Human lives forever, like never before.  All of these inventions brought in something new in our lives, which we had not known before, nor had heard and changed our lives for better.  Each of these inventions made our lives easier and faster.  Each of these inventions created new skills and New Economies, upon which millions depended and worked for, and still do, creating the different colored collar workforce that we have today.  Each of these innovations, increased and uplifted the quality of our lives, higher.  Each of these innovations, gave us more time on hand to do many other things, thus increasing our overall productivity in life, our satisfaction and happiness levels in our lives, and doing several other things, such as from spending quality time with family to exploring unknown frontiers of Space, Moon & Mars. These and hordes of other small and big inventions / innovations have made us only healthier and made our lives more easier, giving us better quality of life and thus decreasing our average mortality rate and increasing longevity of life. These inventions created huge systems, changing the dynamics and mechanisms of our daily lives, which we follow even today.  Our way of Life has changed for better and forever. Can and will Smart Cities do this ? May it be the case of the Light bulb or for that matter, the Telephone, there was one Human behind it.  Both, Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, respectively, worked tirelessly with dedication and commitment. When they and many others, started, all they had was an IDEA to fulfill a NEED.  What was available to them to fulfill their needs, was fragmented, scattered, in bits & pieces, fuzzy, sketchy.  They worked on, and with it, they added their 1+1s, they experimented, they brought it all together eventually, and got their answers from their Light bulb & Telephone respectively, which the rest of us have been reaping the fruits of. This is where I and you come in the picture.  Smart City is our Light bulb, our Telephone, and we are the Edison and Bell. Smart City is not rocket science and nor is it for some special or gifted few or the elites on earth.  Smart City is for all.  It must be for all of us, only then it can be Smart. Smart city should be seen as a basic necessity, as Electricity, Telephone and the Internet are today.  Smart City is a way of Life.  To make and have the Smart City, our Continue Reading

Smart Roads / Highways, The Smartest Thought in Modern Technology:

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It’s not just our Cell phones and Cars that are being impregnated with the most impressive cutting edge technology, but also the roads on which we travel on a daily basis. The future indeed does belong to Smart Roads / Highways, call them whatever you would want to. Smart Roads are just not ordinary roads that are simply made of Asphalt & Tar, but they are capable of providing and delivering much more that just mere transportation. Smart Roads and Highways make driving not only smooth and fast but also safe and pleasurable This concept of Smart Road has indeed evolved just a little over a period of time but has the potential and the capability of making both travelling and transportation much more quicker and simpler,  not to forger much Safer too. Smart Roads comes with the latest cutting edge technologies which are incorporated in them such as: (a)Roads and lanes with illuminated Markings & Sign Boards: This is an entirely new concept which is specifically designed to assist both travelling & transportation during the night. These roads are very well marked with several Illuminated Markings; these illuminated markings are either drawn in the middle of the roads / highways which act as Dividers. All these freeways that feature this kind of illumination are a boon for all those who are travelling during after the dusk. These illuminated paints are charged over the entire day with the help of the Solar rays radiating from the Sun which in turn helps them to help us at Night.  (b)Motion Sensing Road Lighting: This is one of the several other mind blowing technological aspects of the Smart Roads, in which there is a Road lighting system working on the concept of Motion Sensing. These motion sensing lighting system detects and identifies the movement of the cars as and when the near and farther away. So when a car would approach, these motion sensors would automatically signal these lights to illuminate till the car passes by and as and when the car passes by the these lights would switch off on its own. But although this is indeed a great concept, there still a drawback, because this would work only in a situation where the flow of traffic is very less. Because of the flow of traffic is high then it kills the very purpose of these motion sensing. (c)Roads equipped with Snow melting Technology: This one too is a one great feature of this brand new concept of Smart Roads. These Roads and lanes are actually installed with solar glass panels and tiny small sized microprocessors. Although puny in size, these microprocessors are capable enough of harnessing and storing solar energy which in turn can be used to heat these lanes for clearing the snow spread all over the roads. There is still one disadvantage in this concept, because it wont be able to deliver during extreme snowfall resulting in thick icing of the roads. Continue Reading

Clean Energy Centre

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“UN-Habitat launched the construction of a Multifunctional Clean Energy Centre at St. Christine Community School Centre in Kibera Kenya. This is a joint initiative funded by DANIDA and UN-Habitat. It is the first of a series of Multifunctional Clean Energy Centres that UN-Habitat plans to construct in other Sub-Saharan African cities. The proposed 3-floor facility has been designed taking into account bio-climatic and energy efficiency considerations. It will constitute the following spaces:  toilets and bathrooms, a solar charging facility, computer room, a classroom as well as a community hall.  The project seeks to improve access to basic urban services to the community, offering a multi-purpose facility which combines improved sanitation (public toilets and bathrooms), clean cooking fuel and lighting. The toilets will be used by the school of about 415 pupils and the surrounding community. This facility has been designed as an income generating tool for the school. The local community will be able to have access to the public toilets and bathrooms at a fee. The biogas produced will replace firewood and charcoal which the school currently buys at a high price. This will greatly reduce its expenditure associated with meal preparation. Some of the electricity generated by the solar photovoltaic panels will be used for lighting the building and also at the solar charging facility for recharging of solar lanterns and mobiles phones at an affordable fee. The biogas generated in the digester, that forms part of the sanitation system, will be used at the school’s kitchen to prepare meals for the children. The liquid fertilizer, an end product of the biogas system, will be used at the school’s garden. A total of 150 solar lanterns, 50 of which have been donated by Philips East Africa, shall be rented out to the school’s parents and the surrounding community to ensure clean, bright and affordable lighting is accessible to replace kerosene lamps thereby enabling children to read at night. In addition, the facility will include a water tank where water will be stored for use at the school and some of it will be sold to the community at an affordable rate.” Continue Reading