Smart city: The City of the Future

In the modern age, the smart city is our best and biggest bet for sustainability. These new types of cities vouch for the usage of digital technology, diminishing the energy consumption and always respecting the environment.

Since last centuries’ nineties decade the tech development has driven the creation of intelligent cities around the globe.

What is a Smart city?

 The essences of a digital city are: improve the quality of its citizen’s life, protect the environment and to take advantage of the available resources. All that based on the use of information and communication technologies.

   CITA: “The Smart city concept, although it is not the only one nor necessarily universal. It does have a common denominator which is none other than the use of ICTs to improve the quality of life in cities.”

Emilio Ontiveros, Diego Vizcaíno and Verónica López Sabater, in The cities of the future: intelligent, digital and sustainable.

The experts in the subject refer to key points for the development of cities which aspire to be Smart cities:

Basic requirements of a Smart City

  • Balanced economic, social and environmental development
  • Management and suitable use of natural resources.
  • Social commitment to the development of the city.
  • Institution modernization through technology to make the life of its citizens easier.

The active participation of the citizens is the key element in the process of constructing a smart city. The authorities must inform and prepare the citizens for the new advantages that the city will have.

Top 5 smart cities of the world.

To get closer to the best smart cities of the world I consulted the analysis of the 10 first places according to two world-renown sources: IESE Cities in Motion, from 2019 and the Top 50 Smart City Governments, from 2018.

Let’s get to know the Top 5 of these cities in 2020:


London smart city
London. Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

It’s well-known as the best smart city and to accomplish it the major created a roadmap: Smarter London Together. The aim was “to transform London in the smartest city in the world”.

This project consists of 5 essential missions: more services that are designed by the user; reach a new agreement for the city data; world-class connectivity and smarter streets; enhance digital leadership and skills, and encourage collaboration throughout the whole city.

From this platform they view the future as a global bank for innovation tests. They wanted to keepi everyone informed about new projects, opportunities of collaboration and results. That is the reason why they have created a blog in medium and a board in Trello.


Singapore smart city
Singapore. Photo by Joe Green on Unsplash

The Asian State-city could very well be classified as a smart nation. It was named Intelligent City of 2018 in the Smart City Expo World Congress award of that year.

Since the 90’s of the 20th century, the overpopulated nation developed their technological infrastructure with the National Information Infrastructure program. On that milestone scale they would launch, in 1997, Singapore ONE, a broadband network and very high speed connectivity for everyone.

In 2014, they created Smart Nation, a government platform to achieve greater development of the city with the use of technologies. This program has as main pillars the economy, the government and the digital society.

New York

New York smart city
New York. Photo by Jonathan Riley on Unsplash

In more than one occasion, the Great Apple has been awarded as the smartest city of the world. This high standard is due to, above all, the great penetration of technologies, as well as the great capacity to generate them.

The city that never sleeps, according to the IESE index, occupies the first place in the economic sphere due to “its elevated GDP and the number of parent companies that are publicly listed”. But it still has a long way to go as to be included among the ten first from the study mentioned above because of points like social cohesion, environment and governability. They also have a site for interaction with citizens who wish to participate in these processes

Some of the most recognized elements are their intelligent illuminating system, as well as the Wireless water meter in all their public buildings and the adaptation of many of the services for the elderly (taking into account that the majority of the people are over 60 years old in the city).


Vienna, the city with the best quality of life
Vienna. Photo by Sami Ullah on Unsplash

Vienna has the reputation of being the city with the best quality of life. Pilot projects in spheres like mobility, environment and digitalization make it one of the smartest cities in the world.

The Project started in 2011 by the Urban Innovation Vienna and the next year the Seestadt Technology Centre would be created. This last one would join companies focused in development and with high sustainability standards.

In the most outstanding sections of the city we find what is related to the sustainable development of the public transport system. They also have the platform City Platform Smart Technology – Vienna and to rent bikes, both for individuals and businesses.


Amsterdam is one of the most sustainable cities in the planet
Amsterdam. Photo by Jace & Afsoon on Unsplash

The city of The Netherlands, known worldwide for its red light district, is one of the most sustainable cities in the planet. Between their most recent milestones we have the prohibition of cars and motorcycles that run on gas or diesel starting in 2030.

In 2009, the city developed Amsterdam Smart City as an initiative between Amsterdam Innovation Motor and Alliander. The platform’s purpose is to prepare the city for the future. This is why they develop energy projects, in which the residents always have a crucial role. Currently they have 19 associates.

Do you live in a smart city? How does the government management, the life quality and the citizenship adapt to the new standards? Tell us all about it!

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Aline Marie Rodríguez

Journalist with my pen and my lens. Photography lover.

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