As city population is growing drastically, so are the needs and demands, such as access to public utilities, community management and more. All of this becomes increasingly difficult especially when the governments are relying on age-old methods of management.
Smart cities are now the new normal where digital technologies are leveraged for the following purposes:
- Managing municipality’s assets
- Enhancing sustainable economic development
- Reducing costs
- Managing efficient resource consumption
- Supporting well-being of citizens
- Providing safety and security by cameras
- Providing free public utilities such as free Wi-Fi
While smart cities may sound as a naive concept to many, it has started gaining traction in developed as well as developing countries. This is because of the immense potential found in implementing these solutions leading to reductions in costs. The process of smart city transformation begins by marketing and implementing effective IT solutions for safer and better management of people and resources.
One such city achieving unprecedented success using Big Data is Atlanta, Georgia. From 2015, the city has started installing and relying on IoT smart devices for better municipality planning, cost reduction, and increased operational efficiency. This is one of the most notable advantages of implementing IoT solutions.
Replicating Atlanta’s IoT solutions, the Government of Punjab has started working with the Punjab Information Technology Board to come up with effective smart solutions for Lahore’s management. With a population of over 11 million, it is the right time to start implementing IoT solutions for managing resources and controlling costs.
With the population soaring for the last few years, resource management by municipalities has not been up to the mark. While the government has taken initiatives such as planx, plan9, partnering with PITB, and provisions of free WiFi at public plans, these are still not enough to overcome the challenges of increasing population.
The focus of initiatives should be on better geographical management including a safe city concept of smart cameras, light sensors powered by solar panels, etc. Another way of transforming Lahore to become the next smart city is to install smart meters for utility consumption, such as electricity, water and gas. The respective authorities, WAPDA, WASA, and SUI GAS shall be monitoring the consumption data by using smart devices in order to reduce corruption, check the data usage in real-time by consumers, and the companies then in turn can use that data to manage the demand and supply side during peak seasons.This is impor
This is important as in Pakistan, as winters approach, problems in gas supply start emerging, with many areas having little to no gas for several hours a day. With smart IoT solutions, all of this can be improved.