According to the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (DESA) report, “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision”, the world population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050 compared to present 7.5 billion. This significant growth in human population is the major outcome of improved lifestyle and the milestones achieved in today’s modern medicine.
More than 1 million people move to cities every day and it is expected that by 2050, more than 65% of the world’s population will be living in cities. This scenario will result in the dramatic increase for resources and infrastructure. Without proper planning and solutions, our cities will be faced with health, social, resources, mobility and pollution issues.
However, everyday there are solutions and inventions that are being developed to help turn a conventional city into a smart city. Globally, there are comprehensive solutions offered in the IoT market that are trying to help solve some of the issues mentioned above. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that not all cities are made equal and there is a need for reliable data so that solutions can be tailor made for the respective cities.
Enter big data analytics. It can help provide answers to many of the issues. For an example, data on traffic flow, type of vehicles, peak and off-peak times and traffic light timings, can help city planners and policy makers come up with the best solution to minimize traffic congestion. Reduced traffic congestion can improve the air quality within the city and reduce the carbon emissions.
There are various types of IoT sensors that can capture all sorts of city related data. It is recommended for cities to start small, focus on one area at a time and build upon it as the technology matures. Cities are dynamic and always changing and with the right data, analysis and action, we believe that cities can be run efficiently and ultimately reduce its carbon footprint as we move into the sustainable future.
In the coming weeks, we will dive deeper into big data and smart cities and how it can help transform our cities into low carbon cities.
Amir Hamzah Mansor