SMART CITIES: GOOD OR BAD

Recently we often heard or read about smart cities. What is exactly a smart city concept is? According to European Smart Cities website –www.smart-cities.eu, a smart city is a city well performing in 6 characteristics, built on the “smart” combination of endowments and activities of self-decisive, independent and aware citizens.

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http://www.smart-cities.eu/model.html

Smart city concept offers convenience to its citizens. Utilize technology provided by big technology, engineering and consulting companies. The concept powered by wireless broadband connection established everywhere, embedding sensors into any objects around the city, appliances, gadgets, or even your clothes in intention to “help” you.

But what if the system fails? What if someone manage to trick it for his own personal gain? What if the corporation who have the mandate to run the system, use its power to manipulate the society? If everything is monitored, how about the citizens freedom? Yes, some questions should be addressed to accomplish a perfect smart city and how to react if something wrong happen.

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Scoop.it presents us some examples of programmable cities. One of several concepts on the website caught my attention. “A Smart Road that Can Produce Energy”, a concept I found interesting. Road network receives a large amount of energy in the form of wind, solar radiation, or friction. Roads need energy to operate their signage, lights, and maintenance. What if the road able to produce its own energy? Whether it’s from traditional ways of power sources such as solar cell or wind farm, but also more advance sources such as Piezoelectric slab which produce electricity by pressures. There are also possibilities of heat-powered electricity as a result of tractions from vehicles to the road surface.

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