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What Are ‘Smart Cities’ and What Future Do They Offer Us?

‘Smart Cities’, is becoming a popular phrase coined by politicians, companies, town planners, builders, engineers or entrepreneurs globally. The definition is quite wide and obscure.

It’s time to shed more light on the idea, most importantly, discussing the opportunities and advantages Smart Cities have to offer everyone.

What is a ‘Smart City’?

A smart city is intuitive and effective due to the usage of connective digital technology

A smart city:

  • provides sustainability
  • leverages existing infrastructure
  • promotes asset sharing
  • informs and engages citizens

 

Capital cities, including Sydney have many established assets available that can be more efficiently utilised and shared to meet the city’s density growth demand. A Smart City applies an overlay of technology to provide more visibility and access to services within a city.

 

What Is Driving The Idea Of a Smart City?

The need for Smart Cities is growing due not only to the high cost of space in these popular locations, but also because of the shifting societal demand for more dynamic work and leisure locations.

There is a missing piece in the puzzle: we have built significant amounts of infrastructure, but they aren’t always being fully utilised in the best way possible. At present, there are resources in cities, such as parking or office space, that are going to waste every day due to:

  • no method of tracking daily usage, and
  • no way to offer availability to others

 

Smart Cities solve this issue by promoting efficiency and seamless interactions through technology to fulfil a city’s full potential; meeting and leveraging current trends reduces this opportunity cost wastage.

Many cities around the world have a lot of ‘silent’ assets, such as storage, space and parking, that could be better exploited by uncovering and connecting them to a digital platform allowing them to be more flexible, improving the way cities work. This technology improves infrastructure usage and also assists cities in becoming more globally competitive in attracting and retaining business.

 

Why Is This A Growing Area?

It is exciting because there is just so much opportunity for technological innovation. The concept of a Smart City is suited to those with a passion for:

  • understanding and exploring efficiency challenges
  • designing solutions with relevant stakeholders
  • employing technology for measureable outcomes

 

These 3 key elements assist both sides of the market: the owner and the potential user of the asset. It’s fulfilling being able to facilitate and nurture better relationships between both parties and the city itself.

The interesting paradox here is that technology in Smart Cities is actually humanising the provision of services, through the development of a ‘sharing community’.

This is what draws me to this industry, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Many cities around the world are seeking people who can innovatively coordinate and integrate all of the infrastructure within their boundaries to effectively achieve maximum productivity with minimum waste or expense.

It’s the way of the future for all cities around the world, and is certainly an exponentially growing requirement.

 

How Are Smart Cities Benefiting Everyone?

Besides the obvious improvement in the utilisation of limited assets for greater benefit and financial gain, Smart Cities offer so many advantages in the evolution of a city.

Take for example, parking, which is a highly demanded, yet very limited resource within a city. Currently, fines are issued by the local Government in order to punish and change illegal behaviour, however this doesn’t solve the root of the problem or benefit the situation in any way; the person receives the fine and yet, the lack of parking prevails. A Smart City, is able to identify the challenge, and tap into technology to address it. In other words, a city that has a platform such as DIVVY Parking allows that person to use their SmartPhone to locate a spare car space in a building, and book it for the time they need.

Everyone benefits in this scenario: the driver is able to park conveniently, the owner of the building gains a new source of revenue, and the city remains uncongested by cars searching for spaces and/or parking illegally.

Smart Cities solve problems such as this in a far more effective way than has been possible through traditional approaches.

 

Will Everyone Embrace Smart Cities?

Absolutely. People and organisations who embrace new technology will find Smart Cities completely empowering. For example, you go from a user waiting for a train at a station, to one who can track the timetable and train location in real time. The Uber service is the perfect iteration of this; only a few years ago, people would wait for a taxi to show up, however now with a simple App, users can track the vehicle, communicate with the driver, pay online and set the destination all from their phone, giving them control and satisfaction.

These kinds of scenarios enable people to enjoy the city and all it has to offer more than ever. Smart Cities allow organisations and people to access a whole range of services on offer to get the most out of their experience.

The evolution of cities in this way will be adopted very quickly because today, people are open to technology and how it augments their lives. They will gladly provide their geolocation and personal information via their mobile phone if it means that the city will be responsive with services and benefits.

With the rapid rate of evolution and change that we see today, the sky really is the limit when it comes to what we will see next for Smart Cities.

 

What Role Does DIVVY Play?

DIVVY has started the ball rolling in getting cities like Sydney to think about how to use technology to offer people and organisations better use of its available assets. Tenants in office towers are demanding more flexible services and technology such as DIVVY allows landlords to flex their assets to meet these demands.

DIVVY is demonstrating that a building with parking, for example, can be its own marketplace all through the use of a mobile phone for both tenants and other commuters. Through our App, a user can search, book, pay and have access within a couple of minutes. Similarly, on the other side of that transaction, a service provider can access tools like inventory management, revenue raising and analytics, improving the profitability and viability of their asset.

DIVVY is promoting this innovative new approach, and aiming to inspire others to embrace this better solution to infrastructure distribution. We are receiving a lot of traction and positivity from all sides of the market.

It’s a very exciting and growing area for modern civilisation as a whole. If you want to know more (as there is a lot more to know, believe me!), visit our DIVVY Enterprise page, where you can research more about infrastructure potential and how to get the most out of your asset.

divvyparking.com/enterprise/

Nick Austin, DIVVY Parking CEO / Founder