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Innovations in smart cities and their impact on urban life

Smart cities have been a buzzword in recent years as they intend to increase the quality of lives, promote economic prosperity, and ensure environmental sustainability. However, achieving these desired results requires the leveraging of the latest technologies, advanced design, and urban planning. 

In the United States, New York, San Francisco, and Boston stand as epitomes of smart cities. In Europe, the leading examples are Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. The Indian government has approved more than 60 cities under the ‘Smart Cities Mission.’ That’s truly massive! 

Despite developing and developed countries striving to create more smart cities, what are the key advantages or impacts that these cities are going to have or have already done so far? In general, they benefit in terms of economic growth, resource efficiency, sustainable development, enhanced connectivity, and data-driven decisions. However, let’s dive deep into the top five major impacts in this blog post.  

Five Major Impacts of Smart City Innovations on Urban Life

  1. Advanced and efficient energy grids

Energy grids play a pivotal role in ensuring the energy sustainability of every nation. Smart cities with smart energy grids can effectively cater to power distribution, connect to small-scale power systems, and personalize energy needs based on historical data. Essentially, the energy supply and demand become transparent, balanced, and effectively utilized without allowing for waste. In fact, the city will have the most infrastructure in green space, i.e., green-certified buildings, which improve the quality of air every single second. 

  1. IoT and AI-integrated systems

A smart city with IoT, AI, and 5G-enabled and installed systems paves the way for many other developments for the welfare of the people. Be it introducing autonomous vehicles, energy/grid monitoring, collecting big data, easy access to public service systems, optimizing energy usage, etc., we need these advanced technologies. 

  1. Smart waste management 

Tech-integrated waste management systems are a part of sustainable urban planning. These systems will ensure efficient collection of waste and also close the loop by properly disposing of the collected waste. This way, urban cities can eliminate unwanted waste litter, burning of wrong waste, and resulting air pollution. Also, you cannot witness any one landfill that’s overflowing in a smart city!  

What are green city planning and sustainable urban planning? Learn now!

  1. Improved transit systems

Transportation or traffic congestion could be a serious problem in a normal city with normal infrastructure. But not with smart cities that are highly equipped with top-notch tracking technologies. Smart cities offer real-time tracking of vehicles and consignments. Thus avoiding confusion in the traffic, road closures, parking, etc. Also, people can start making use of public transport systems like EV-based buses, high-speed light-rail trains, and other modes. 

  1. Health kiosks

The development of health kiosks at primary health care centers and hospitals can enable people to avoid unnecessary queues. People can effortlessly get the primary diagnosis done just by scanning their biometrics, verifying their citizenship, and furnishing their symptoms or observations. For cases that don’t require further investigation, these kiosks can dispense the prescribed medicines. These user-friendly kiosks are indeed a notable and beneficial impact that a smart city can create to improve the quality of people’s lives. 


Without a comprehensive evaluation framework or model, favorable regulatory norms, and sufficient funding, the smart city mission is totally unrealizable for any nation. Take a look at this empirical study conducted by Yirang Lim et. al. on ‘What is the impact of smart city development? Empirical evidence from a Smart City Impact Index.’ This case study involves the analysis of smart cities in South Korea through different dimensions like economic (economic development), environmental (sustainability), social (quality of life, citizen empowerment), governance (transparency and democratic decisions), and technological (innovation to increase efficiency).  

Similarly, when each country can develop these kinds of ‘Smart City Index’ and keeps collecting and analyzing the data, they can arrive at the quantifying impact that a smart city has created on urban living!

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