People aren’t the only ones “smart” enough to adapt to change and technology. Cities are becoming smarter too! Innovative cities are not all about using the newest technology. They do what needs to be done in creating a huge impact to make people’s lives meaningful.
Places like Paris, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Mexico City, and Estonia are among the cities reshaping their civil services. In the United States, Chicago ranked as the third smartest city in the country. There are currently 102 cities listed as the “Smart City Index 2019”.
It would be nice to visit or live in one of these cities, right? Imagine people who live and work in those places. Tourists have good things to say about the play, their services, their efficiency, and their accessibility. And one of the first things people look for nowadays is the availability of the Internet when and where they need it to be.
Talking about smart cities – it makes the Internet readily available for anyone who needs it. What’s more? People aren’t the only ones who need it. The technology used to make the city more efficient needs it too. But what is with smart cities that make it a huge topic these years?
What is a Smart City?
There is really no fixed definition for a Smart City yet. But to make it simple, a Smart City uses innovative technologies that make cities and lives more efficient. The target of offering better urban innovations is to create a meaningful impact on the way people live their lives in these places.
Since the early 1900s, the term “smart city” was first used. But it was only in the past decade that government and businesses actually started to do something to solve the global financial crisis by improving technological efficiency at reduced costs.
The thing that makes Smart Cities smart is the balance they create between human dimensions and the economic and technological aspects of their efforts. Countries and cities recognized as a Smart City attract investment and talent. This helps cities innovate even further.
As expected, the leading Smart City in the world is Singapore. More cities are following in their footsteps in innovating people’s lifestyles through advanced technology. Furthermore, a Smart City uses digital transformation to make cities more sustainable for the people who live there. People assess the smartness of a city by how technology is made readily accessible to them.
Some examples include free WiFi across the entire city of Argentina, smart traffic cameras in Singapore, first-class train stations and airports, and many more. You’ll be inspired to visit these cities and see how people’s lifestyle is improved using these technological advances.
One of the well-known cities being talked about today is Chicago. Aside from being famous for its amazing American food, exciting architecture, sports play, and soothing jazz music, Chicago is among the fastest rising smart cities in the world. Let’s talk about what makes this city so unique.
Chicago As A Smart City
In 2012, Chicago opened a public Data Portal that aims to help residents live a better quality of life. They can get data about neighborhoods, real-time maps, statistical graphs, and other information about the city.
But the significant shift happened in 2016 when Chicago partnered with AoT (Array of Things) to install smart sensors mounted on light posts. The sensor collects a vast array of urban activities and environmental data around the city of Chicago. When it becomes fully operational, the sensors will collect environmental factors such as air quality, flooding, precipitation, climate, and noise. This is what the city considers to be its vital initiative towards becoming a smart city. This is the largest AoT project in the world.
Chicago has been a huge inspiration for other nations and cities. In 2016, the White House formally acknowledged its initiatives through an official endorsement and increasing federal funding. The government officials of the city aim to make Chicago “the most data-driven government in the world.” They are working on increasing Internet access across the entire city that will improve the lives of the people living and working there.
In the smart city world ranking, Chicago ranked as an Alpha City by focusing more on smarter and highly available data. The current plan is to perform a “massive data-driven infrastructure overhaul.” They will place IoT (Internet of Things) sensors all over the city. This aims to improve the quality of residents in the city through:
- Smarter Infrastructures
- Smarter resources for the government
- Smarter resources for residents
Aside from the AoT partnership, Chicago detailed 28 other smart initiatives that will make it a smarter city. One of the current primary concerns is parking spots. People who regularly visit the city know that parking is either impossible or very expensive. The truth is these parking spots are available, and people just don’t know where to find it. With the data they will be collecting, the government will have better access to information in predicting where people need parking spaces. This project is currently in the testing phase, and the innovators are seeing a good outcome.
To date, innovators are highly invested in supporting Chicago as a smart city. The city has plenty of projects on infrastructure, applications, gadgets, and programs that will make the Internet faster, more beneficial, efficient, and accessible to everyone.
Smart Cities and Marketing
The Smart City concept is growing underway, and more cities are following in the trend. When the pioneer cities first started the transition, they were more focused on technological innovations. They didn’t recognize the need for the people to cope with the changes. They overlooked the importance of why they want to make their cities smart – to improve the lives of the people and to make their cities sustainable for life and business.
As soon as these pioneer cities recognize the need to put their people first, they saw how significantly it improved the economy and businesses. Smart cities rule the top spot with its growing economic market. Current data show that smart cities are worth $308 billion in 2018 and will continue to grow up to $717.2 billion by 2023.
The increasing efficiency of living in the city also increased population growth. More people means the city needs more infrastructure for residential and commercial purposes. It also means that more people will be part of the market circle. Investors are fighting their way to sealing contracts with smart cities because it means huge growth in their success.
With smart cities, Internet access is rarely to no problem at all. People are connected to every corner and footprint of the city through their mobile devices or desktops. Access to businesses, products, and opportunities has been better when investors market their goods and services on the Internet.
Impact of Mobile Footprint on Businesses
First, your mobile app makes you visible all the time. Study shows that an average user spends 3 hours on their mobile phones per day. Having a mobile app means that you make your business always available on-screen. This is important because, consciously or unconsciously, it creates an impact on the customer.
This is where brand recognition comes in. Making your business available on-screen all the time increases the chance that people will remember you. This is one of the most effective marketing strategies to make your business more recognizable to your target customers.
Mobile apps serve multiple purposes. As the business owner, this gives you the advantage to make your customers feel special by showing only those things that you want them to see. This is your direct channel to connect to your customer base. Plus, you are a huge step ahead of your competitors by increasing your mobile footprint.
It may be costly at first to design a mobile app suitable for your business. But once you have included it in the marketing stream of your client base, all the development costs and efforts will be worth it. You can definitely expect a positive return on investment.
In today’s digital age, thinking of whether to put up a mobile footprint for your business is a good idea. Different industries see more importance in being present online and on mobile than others. But weighing the pros and cons, it is a big leap to boosting your marketing strategy.