Smart City Strategies

Author photo: Alex Chatha, Larry O'Brien, and Sid Snitkin
ByAlex Chatha, Larry O'Brien, and Sid Snitkin
ARC Report Abstract

Executive Overview

Cities are getting smarter. From the many small municipalities that have recently installed smart meters to measure electric power consumption, to the handful of large megalopolis’ that have adopted a far-reaching and broad array of systems and technologies for all key functions, the world of smart cities is a huge challenge to navigate and understand.

Smart cities are comprised of a “system of systems.” These can include smart lighting systems, building automation systems, emergency management systems, security and access control systems, intelligent grids, renewable power, water treatment and supply, transportation, and more. The smart city concept is not new; many of these systems existed well before the term “smart cities” was coined. However, many end users are now attempting to tie together information from these disparate systems into a unified whole to provide a holistic view of the overall performance and state of the city and its various functions.

The age of the Internet of Things has brought with it an increasingly broad range of sensors and IoT platforms. Many of these have made their way into the smart cities sector. In many ways, IoT technology holds the best promise for providing unification and context to the huge array of data generated by smart cities and turn this data into actionable, contextualized information that can be used to reduce energy consumption and operational costs while improving the safety and quality of life of citizens.

What Is a Smart City scs.JPG

This report provides a brief overview of ARC Advisory Group’s perspective on smart cities and the various systems, platforms, sensors, computing devices, and network infrastructure required. We’ve highlighted smart grid and smart lighting systems to show some of the key challenges and headwinds that end users face when adopting smart city technologies. Unfortunately, cybersecurity is often overlooked in smart city discussions, so we will examine some key considerations here. Just as in the industrial world, end users in the smart cities sector must evaluate technologies based on their ability to provide business value and their impact on health, safety, and environment.

While the concept of a smart city is not new, it is still evolving and goes by many different definitions. Clearly, many cities are becoming “smarter” to various degrees, employing an increasingly broad array of digital technologies and smart sensors.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview

  • What Is a Smart City?

  • Smart City Drivers and Headwinds

  • Recommendations


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