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SDG Library - Smart cities Module

Introduction to smart cities

Cities are at the center of the UN SDG strategy. The technologies that underline their development contribute directly to SDG 9 "Industry innovation and infrastructure" and 11 "Sustainable cities and communities", but also indirectly to achieving many other SDGs - via networks and applications for city educational institutions (Goal 4), AI based water management and waste disposal systems (SDG 6), an interactive and responsive city administration (SDG 16), the implementation of remote patient monitoring, screening for cancer and similar systems (SDG 3).

Smart-city solutions such as air quality monitoring, energy use optimization, and electricity, water, and waste tracking can produce results such as 10-15% fewer GHG emissions, 30-130 fewer kilograms of solid waste per person per year, and 25-80 liters of water saved per person per day. In a new study on smart cities, McKinsey Global Institute investigates how technology can deliver a better quality of life. Findings indicate that using the current generation of smart city applications could effectively help cities make significant or moderate progress toward meeting 70% of the Sustainable Development Goals..According to the European commission "a smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants and business". Just using technologies is not enough. What exactly makes a city smart? The notion of the Internet of Things is central to understanding how smart cities work. The technology base (devices and connectivity) is only the first level. The next one is made of software applications that process data and transform them into prompts, recommendations and action. The third and key element of a smart city is the usage of applications by entities and citizens



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