The Smart city in China


Technology has come a long way since the first computer was created, and these days we basically run our planet on technology. It seems like everything that can be invented or thought up already has been, so what’s next? Well, it seems, with the direction we’re moving in, artificial intelligence is the next logical step along the road to technological perfection.

When we mention AI, we’re not talking anything strange, well, not right now at least. AI doesn’t have to be that menacing, creeping presence we’ve come to fear (thanks a bunch, James Cameron!), and can actually be essential for evolution. And, the next step in our tech journey is likely to be smart cities? So, what are they? How do they work? And what can we gain from them? All valid questions, so let’s look a little closer.

What is a smart city?

To put it in layman’s terms, a smart city is a city in which the infrastructure is all linked to software. That means that everything that happens in the city will be linked to technology in some way. Smart is not a new concept these days – we’ve pretty much all got smartphones at the moment, and more and more homes are getting smart meters. So, a smart city is kind of the next logical step in the process. Well, this is now a reality, and we can look forward to a potential future in which technology in the city is going to enhance our daily lives.

How do they work?

It’s interesting to look at the way in which smart cities work, as well as what we can do to make the most of them. Basically, all the information and data within a city will be stored and recorded electronically, and this is used to make decisions and improve the city. For example, a smart city would be able to work out whether there is enough water for the city if there is too much pollution, or whether traffic congestion is a problem. And this information can all be relaid to the citizens who have linked the city with their smart devices.

Smart city in China

The Chinese, ever the innovators of the world, have become the first country to set a smart city project into full motion. The city of Hangzhou, which is home to more than 9 million Chinese people, is the subject of the City Brain project. The government of the city has teamed with the companies Alibaba and Foxconn to help make this smart city a reality. The project is also being considered for other areas of China, and could well spread across the globe if it winds up being successful.

Sure, there are bound to be concerns about the Big Brother nature of such close data monitoring, but this is the best way of helping enhance cities, and the lives of their residents, in the most efficient way possible. It seems almost a certainty that smart cities will become the future of tomorrow and that more and more cities will be improving and evolving through the use of smart technology.