While the definition of a smart city will vary, its main aim is to optimize functions and driving economic growth in a city to improve the quality of the inhabitants lifes. It does this by using data analysis and taking advantage of smart technologies such as the Internet of Things and the cloud. With more than 50% of the world's population now living in cities and the number expected to rise, the idea of establishing smart cities is increasingly gaining attention. However, here are some of the challenges facing the implementation of this concept.
Funding a smart city is one of its major challenges. Converting an existing city that complies with all the requirements of being a smart city seems more expensive than building a new city that is smart. This is because transforming an existing city means disrupting existing infrastructure, which may cause inconvenience in other areas such as transportation and commerce.
Implementing a smart city will require the collaboration of different stakeholders and departments. For example, a smart city may require the transportation department and security departments to share data and work together to enhance mobility within the city. This in itself is a huge challenge since departments and employees may see it as disruptive, and may thus resist its implementation.
Many cities are unwilling to adapt the smart city model because they only tend to concentrate on the short term benefits instead of concentrating on its long term benefits. Implementing a smart city model is a slow, tedious and painful process, and benefits may not be witnessed in the short term. Thus, those who are supposed to initiate it such as politicians shy away because they see it as too much of a risk.
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