The Trend towards “Smart Cities”

Chien-Chu Chen

Abstract


Looking back over the past century, the steady pace of development in many of the world’s cities has resulted in a situation where a high percentage of these cities are now faced with the problem of aging, decrepit urban infrastructure; a considerable number of cities are having to undertake large-scale infrastructure renewal projects. While creating new opportunities in the area of infrastructure, ongoing urbanization is also creating problems, such as excessive consumption of water, electric power and heat energy, environmental pollution, increased greenhouse gas emissions, traffic jams, and the aging of the existing residential housing stock, etc. All of these problems present a challenge to cities’ ability to achieve sustainable development. In response to these issues, the concept of the “smart city” has grown in popularity throughout the world. The aim of smart city initiatives is to make the city a vehicle for “smartification” through the integration of different industries and sectors. As initiatives of this kind move beyond basic automation into the realm of real “smartification,” the smart city concept is beginning to take concrete form.


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