Smart city sounds like a distant dream, but this futuristic idea is closer than we think. By the end of 2020, the expenditure of global smart city plan is expected to reach US $124 billion, which is 18.9% higher than the project expenditure in 2019. After all, many of the technologies needed to run smart cities, such as stronger networks and advanced power grids, have been adopted on a large scale in the past few months.

To this end, I will introduce three major innovations that make smart cities possible:

Smart grid

How to define smart city technology?

Smart grid is a power grid integrated with computerization and two-way communication technology, which can control power flow and provide feedback of the whole system operation, etc. Its biggest advantage is that it can evenly distribute power throughout the building by analyzing external factors, such as power in the grid and weather conditions. For example, when there is a large amount of electricity in the local power grid, the electricity price will be much lower. It is during this time that the smart grid can provide additional power for all your appliances. In addition, the manufacturer has programmed it to detect power failures ahead of time in order to reroute other power lines. In other words, the blackout is almost a legend. As an area vulnerable to natural disasters and blackouts, Tokyo has made great progress in this regard.


Another basic part of smart city infrastructure is sensors. With sensors all over the city, urban planners can put them into the functions of community monitoring, traffic control, intelligent lighting, air quality control and so on. New York City has demonstrated the effectiveness of sensors well in its city wide water management project, and if implemented successfully, every household will receive sensors so that they can check their water consumption every day.

Geospatial technology

Geospatial technology refers to a series of connection technologies needed to create regional virtual map, such as GPS data points and spatial statistics. Google maps and waze are good examples of this technology. In smart city, geospatial technology plays an important role in traffic management and garbage collection. Reykjavik and Paris, for example, are using it to create real-time, updated electronic timetables for trains and buses. Geospatial technology can also be used in future urban planning. In the United States, Belmont engineers are using it to design residential areas to make them more pedestrian friendly.


Smart city technology has two definitions: it can collect data from the environment, and how to use this data to help its residents live a more relaxed life. These three major innovations illustrate this perfectly. Most of these technologies are still in their early stages of implementation, but if more time is given, many of our cities will develop into really smart cities.

Editor in charge: PJ

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