Another definition of smart city emphasizes the element of “intelligence”, with reference to the ability of governments to create innovations in terms of service and communication to their citizens.
Regardless of the definitions, the application of this concept aims to improve the quality of life of its citizens.
Our neighboring country, Singapore, is one of the pioneers in the application of smart city concept. Singapore seems to be a good example of a city with a system that can monitor all parts of the city, and acquire data in real time.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal in April 2016, Singapore has installed various types of sensors and cameras to monitor a variety of things, ranging from the cleanliness of public space through the crowd, and the movement of every vehicle registered in the city-state government.
Thanks to the installation of this system, the city authorities are now able to find out if residents smoke in prohibited areas, or commit inappropriate littering in the apartment.
The data obtained from monitoring the entire city in real-time can be used for various purposes. For example, the municipal authorities can predict the transmission of diseases, or the possibility of crowd movement when an explosion occurs inside the mall, for example.
A similar system has already started to be implemented in various cities in Indonesia, including Bandung and Surabaya. The mayor and other officials can monitor the entire city via CCTV cameras installed at the corners of the city. Display of this camera can be seen, for example, via a tablet computer.
Internet of things
Some cities are experimenting with the Internet of Things technology integration into the smart city system. In short, we can define the Internet of Things as objects, namely buildings, vehicles, and others that have been equipped with sensors and Internet connectivity. This allows the network connectivity of objects that share data with people or other smart devices.
Examples of the use of Internet of Things are implementations of the system in trash bins and street lights. Barcelona city government has been testing the use of trash that can detect whether it is currently full or filled. Garbage collection trucks can optimize their travel time by just visiting bins that are already full.
These integrated sensors enable smart street lights to detect whether someone is near them . To save power consumption, street lights can be adjusted so that they only light up when people walk past. Such lamps have been tested in Glasgow, Scotland.
Crowdsourcing and collaboration
One criticism of the smart city concept is it putting too much emphasis on technology, mainly from consulting and information technology companies that promote smart city. As a reaction to this, the managers of the city have started to look at the concept of a more human-centered way of smart city.
In this concept an important part in smart city is no longer just the sensor and the engine, but its own citizens. Smart cities that are more focused on humans are not only expected to be more responsive to the needs of citizens, but also involve them more actively in the management of the city.
In the smart city concept like this, citizens can be active in at least two things: data collection from the audience crowdsourcing and collaboration between citizens themselves (collaboration).
Jakarta is a city that has pioneered crowdsourcing, with applications such as Qlue and Petajakarta. Qlue, applications that can be installed on smartphones, enables residents to report problems found with a photograph and send it to the regional government. Meanwhile, Petajakarta tries to map flooding in the capital by taking the data from Twitter users.
To see an example of citizen collaborations, we can visit Bogota, which seeks for citizens’ participations through My Ideal City website. Through the website, residents can provide comments and suggestions regarding the urban development plan in Colombia. A similar platform, Carticipe, is used in France to gather suggestions in Laval and begin debate on urban planning before the local election was held in Strasbourg.