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Smart Cities and Its Technology (Term Paper Sample)


the task was about describing the smart cities technology that is being used in different cities in the world. different technologies such as the use of electronic devices and internet of thing was to be described. the attached sample delved around the task requirements by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of smart cities, the challanges facing smart cities and possible solutions. also, a smart city architecture is presented that revolves around e-governance, ict infrastructure, services and stakeholders.


Smart Cities
Institutional Affiliation
Smart city technology is the most current technology being embraced in most cities in the world. Santander (Spain) is probably the first smart city in the world. The city has had over 20,000 sensors distributed over the city since 2009 (Smart City, 2017). Since the inception of the idea of smart cities, more cities from different continents have embraced smart technology. Smart cities have proved to be safer, and more efficient in service delivery among urban dwellers. This paper seeks to identify the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of smart cities. The paper analyses various problems experienced in Oman cities and offers solutions to the same. It further proposes smart city architecture for the Sultanate. It concludes that the smart city technology is viable for Oman cities and can be successfully implemented amongst the country’s 40 cities.
Keywords: Smart cities, ArcGIS, geotagging, architecture, internet of things, e-governance, stakeholders
A smart city is a city that applies the use of electronic devices and the internet of things to collect data about the city and then analyze it to provide better services and manage resources and assets in the city. About two-thirds of world cities have invested in smart city technology. The survey shows that the number of smart cities has been on the rise. Statistics reveal that there are 27 smart cities in the world (Statista, 2019). With the technological advancements being witnessed in the world today, other countries are in the process of achieving smart city technologies. The technologies have proved to be advantageous is the provision of social services to city dwellers. The country of Oman can also successfully implement smart city technologies like other countries.
Advantages of Smart Cities
There are numerous advantages associated with smart cities. Some of the advantages are as discussed below.
Through the Internet of Things (IoT), more effective data can be acquired. The interconnection of devices and the internet within cities enable relevant agencies to obtain data by recording real-time metrics. The availability of big data helps the agencies to undertake analytics which assists in making informed decisions (Rujan, 2018). City officials can address matters of concern easily and effectively after analyzing the big data obtained from internet connections. For example, collecting data can help city officials to identify high-risk areas and staff security personnel accordingly. Again, monitoring city dynamics in real-time helps in establishing the trends of city dwellers concerning their interests, needs, and concerns (Kumar, 2019). Well-informed decisions help in meeting the needs of city dwellers with improved services.
Smart cities have improved citizen and government engagement. Various tools enhance the interaction between the citizenry and the government. These collaboration tools include mobile applications, intuitive websites, and self-service portals. Promoting a connected citizen experience by expanding digital services improves city dwellers’ experience. When governments avail government data, performance dashboards, and interactive maps in cities, they improve the relations between government agencies and citizens (Rujan, 2018. Moreover, the inclusion of technology in cities has led to improved security. Some of the safety-enhancing technologies include gunshot detectors, next-generation 911, license plate recognition, and connected crime centers among others. Several surveys have revealed that smart cities with safety installations have safer than those without them.
Another advantage of smart cities is improved transportation. Smart city technologies help people to track buses and trains in real-time, make payments online, evade traffic congestion, and traffic control (Kumar, 2019). Smart parking technology helps city officials to concentrate on other sources of revenue and also in proper organization of urban centers leaving room for other developments. With the use of GoogleMaps, drivers can easily locate where their clients are situated. Moreover, smart city technologies help in reducing environmental pollution (Rujan, 2018). The technologies help in monitoring air quality especially with the increased release of greenhouse gases among other pollutants. Again, there are energy-efficient buildings using renewable energy sources. Monitoring air quality helps in developing action plans that can save millions of people living in urban centers from health problems.
Disadvantages and Limitations of Smart Cities
Despite many advantages of smart cities, there are also disadvantages associated with them. For smart cities to operate effectively, there is a need for personalized data. Personalized data helps in accomplishing tasks such as determining mobility patterns of people. However, in most cases, smart cities only have a pool of anonymous data so as to prevent data privacy issues that may arise. The lack of personalized data, therefore, holds back some activities that require the same (Barton, 2017). Again, it is sometimes challenging for city officials to establish trustworthy relations between the citizenry and smart city players. Trust is usually the major concern for people when they give out their data because they are afraid that their data could be used for other malicious purposes (Schuler, 2016). Again, smart city solutions providers earn trust from the users by providing correct information to the people. When they do not provide reliable information, users tend to shy off from their services (Barton, 2017). For example, for effective decongestion of the cities, service providers should ensure that they correctly predict areas with traffic congestion otherwise they will frustrate motorists.
Moreover, smart cities require governments to have a well-organized structure that accommodates challenges that come in with smart cities. The lack of a good plan would cause technology companies to overtake the industry in providing solutions for their own benefits which would not necessarily meet the governments’ objectives of managing the cities (Colding, Barthel, & Sörqvist, 2019). Again for successful smart city solutions, city officials are supposed to commit themselves to encourage their citizens’ participation in the plan. The city governments are required to make the use of powerful marketing techniques if their smart city roll-out plans are to succeed (Barton, 2017). This is because most citizens become passive when required to give out information.
The Problem
Oman has a population of 4.636 million with an urban population of 3.5 million. The urban population lives in Oman’s 40 cities and towns (Statista, 2019). Within this decade, the government of Oman has been committed to embracing smart city technology to serve the large urban population. The government has been holding occasional conferences aiming towards achieving smart cities. There are various problems that necessitate the provision of smart city solutions in most of the country’s cities.
First, some of the social services and facility management services provided by the municipality are costly and are provided with delay. Sometimes, just like any other city/town, cities in Oman experience shortages of necessities such as clean water. This may occur due to obvious reasons such as blockage and other technical issues. Also, policing and waste management are pertinent issues in any city. Delays in addressing criminal activities and waste management concerns lead to dissatisfaction amongst citizens and exposes them to both physical and health dangers. A 2019 crime and safety report by the US embassy in Oman indicated that although violent crimes are few, non-violent crimes still persist in the country. Oman has over 350 dumpsites for waste which are managed by the country’s Ministry of Regional Municipalities (Krarti, & Dubey, 2017).
Secondly, there lacks an efficient way of communication between the citizens to relevant authorities when the need arises. For instance, in the occurrence of problems such as wastewater overflows, the affected citizens cannot easily reach out to the municipalities and air their problems in a fast manner. This contributes to delays in the provision of social services. The lack of an efficient way of communication also affects the manner in which relevant authorities address traffic congestion and matters associated with crime. One of the smart city objectives is to reduce crime rates by installing technologies that clearly show criminal activities and help citizens to report criminal cases. Although the Oman government has tried to mitigate the traffic congestion problem by expanding her roads, traffic congestion still remains to be a problem in most of the countries cities and towns (Krarti, & Dubey, 2017).
The accuracy and speed in which services are provided to Oman citizens are of importance. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, there is a need for more accurate services. Transportation is a typical example in this case. The Careem ride-hailing mobile App has been operating it the region from 2018 (Krarti, & Dubey, 2017). The mobile App is however associated with deficiencies in technical talent. There is a need for more accurate devices especially in locating areas in urban centers especially for new persons in the urban cities or in linking up businesses and their clients.
To facilitate communication between citizens and government officials dir...

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