Today I will talk about a kind of technology that rejuvenates and gets smarter!

Although this could be the announcement of a new cosmetic, it is a description of the cities of the future (which is also not bad).


As is shown in the picture above, the global population in cities is rising. Without technology, live would be a chaos. Imagine spending 4 hours just to go from your home to your work. This is an example of a problem that the Smart Cities will try to solve and the answer for that is technology.

“Intelligent and well planned growth through the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)”. This is the definition of Smart Cities according to The World Foundation. It means that these cities will improve the quality and performance of urban services to reduce costs and resource consumption to engage more effectively with its citizens using the ICT´s (all kinds of technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications).

In the picture bellow, is possible to understand better the concept:

smart city 08


To exemplify, I can name none other than our dear neighbor Barcelona. There, they are building a district called Barcelona´s 22@ which has excellent planning and innovation. There is also a bike sharing project for those who live there. The video below explains better how this occurs:

But, how does it all began?

Back to 4.000 b.C, the sector of agriculture allowed the appearance of the first village in Mesopotamia. After it, the first cities began to take shape and were built as a center of commerce or fortifications against the enemies. The feudalism allowed the division of labor in those cities.

During the Industrial Revolution (specially the second one), it is possible to notice a huge growth in these cities, which started to be more industrialized. Transportation also becomes more important. Water and sewage systems were gradually implemented, but the cities were messed up and pollution started to be a big problem. After it, the Third Industrial Revolution brought the concept of ICTs and finally, in the twentieth century, because of the advent of many new technologies, the concept of “Smart Cities” has moved from fiction to reality. And more specifically in 2008, at the time when the entire world was facing one of the worst economic crises, IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) began work on a ‘smarter cities’ concept as part of its Smarter Planet initiative.

It is also good to talk about the Smart Growth, a movement of the late 1990’s that advocated new policies for urban planning. It is known that in 2050 more than a half of the world population will live in cities. That´s why work in better conditions is so important and grow in a sustainable way is the biggest challenge that the Smart Cities are trying to solve.

And, for us…

Recently, IBM created a campaign with the slogan ”Smart ideas for Smart Cities” with the purpose to show that if the cities were smarter, life would be better.

The use of the ICT starts to become part of people´s daily life, and in the Smart Cities the integration and information sharing are more and more necessary. The picture above shows the growth of internet users in 5 years (from 2007 to 2012).

smart city 04

It proves how important will be for the cities to have structure to select, securely transmit, discard the useful data and especially provide more accessibility to the population. The dissemination of information and communication will be faster every day and it will change the scenery of communication in general, and advertising and public relations in particular.

The connection will allow the increase of smartphone and tablet users, and combined with infrastructure, they can offer maximum exploitation to transform our world. Accessibility and interaction are only two of the many benefits that the Smart Cities will bring.

The cities of the future, will be so smart, that will be possible for the citizens to interact with their services in real time. For example, you are walking on the street and suddenly, you see a hole in the sidewalk. Immediately, using collaborative tools and social media (and I would like to emphasize here the importance of social media for the development of the Smart Cities), you can point that risk situation to be fixed. The agents will behave as producers and/or consumers of the information. It means connection, it means quality of life, and it is amazing, just as an announcement of a new cosmetic!

In this Prezi presentation, you can find an overview about the topic


Caragliu, Andrea et al. (2011). Journal of Urban Technology: Smart Cities in Europe, New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 69 – 72. Avaiable in: dy50YW5kZm9ubGluZS5jb20vZG9pL3BkZi8xMC4xMDgwLzEwNjMwNzMyLjIwMTEu NjAxMTE3QEBAMA==


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