News from the future! Smart cities more sustainable, safe and equitable
This article was originally published in the Global Times, a satirical newspaper from the year 2030 published by EWB Canada. The Global Times shares a positive vision of the future and uses humour and imagination to inform, inspire and motivate people to build a better world for everyone. Learn more and take action through the Hello 2030 campaign at hello2030.ca!
The results are in: new research from Canada’s progressive think tank, the SMRT Institute, shows that the smarter the city, the more sustainable, safe and equitable it is for all.
Smart cities use artificial intelligence and electronic monitoring to process real-time data and manage traffic flows, electrical grids, water supplies, waste management, law enforcement, schools, libraries, hospitals and other public services more efficiently. This technology also allows community members to interact with city officials, and for municipal planners to see how the urban environment is evolving and respond to local needs.
Topping this year’s SMRT list are:
Not your usual suspects, but there’s certainly something to be said for living in Canada’s up-and-coming cities. While Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver continue to be centres of innovation, small to mid-sized cities fared better on most measures, including affordable and quality housing, efficient transportation, clean energy infrastructure, environmentally sustainable water and waste management, unbiased law enforcement, and modern and accessible physical and mental healthcare facilities. According to the report, the top cities have been able to grow and plan using new technologies, while larger cities have had to rework old infrastructure and address the urban planning mistakes of the past.
The study also found that initial worries about smart cities, including privacy concerns and embedded bias in technologies, have been successfully addressed through citizen-led campaigns, transparent corporate and public governance, and responsive policies.
How smart is your city?