The Smart Cities Concept Information Technology Essay

In chapter Smart cities is defined the concept of smart cities and how it contributes to the development and improvement of socio-economic activities of society. To achieve smart cities first were defined some specific elements. This chapter highlight some models of implemented smart solutions in the world and in the end was made a case study about the preparation of employees of a city for smart solutions. This aims to investigate the implications of smart solutions for sustainable city development and to gauge the readiness of employees for smart solutions. These solutions concentrate on the core area of the city administration, education, health, transportation, etc. With this purpose in view the framework for a case study is built up employing a quantitative and qualitative research for a mid-sized Romanian city. Exploratory research techniques combined with applying a survey methodology have been used for studying the preparation of employees for the smart solutions.


The concept of the smart city has been introduced to highlight the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the last 20 years (Schaffers, 2012).

In literature the term smart city is used to specify a city’s ability to respond as promptly as possible to the needs of citizens.

Quality of life and city development are profoundly influenced by the core systems (Figure 14) of a city: transport, government services and education, public safety and health (Choenni, 2001). So, we must to start analyze and development of city for these four areas.

Figure The core system of a smart city

Research has focused to study these four areas – education, health, transport, public administration – which are identified having high priority. For these areas was highlight the use of new technologies of employers.

Literature review highlights that various aspects referring to improve life in a city are mentioned in connection to the terms of smart city like: transportation, education, public administration, health care, security/safe, green, efficient and sustainable, energy etc.

In literature (Choenni, 2001), (Dirks, 2010), (Giffinger, 2007) is shown that the most important area for start to transform a city in a smart one is the transportation system. This area has in view to use the modern transport technologies. Smart transportation systems are the best example of the harmony between development of city and modern technologies.

The term smart city is also used in literature (Begawan, 2010), (Caragliu, 2009), (Choenni, 2001), (Schaffers, 2012) regarding the education of its inhabitants. A smart city has therefore smart inhabitants in terms of their educational grade. The intelligent systems represent an important part of future educational process. The intelligent systems will affect the way in which the information is received, used, understand and learned by users.

If the inhabitants will be educate, they will know to work for city development and they will have in view the limits of natural resources. An intelligent educational (Dirks, 2010) system is based on three elements: interconnection (a resource sharing technology education), instrumentation (accumulation of necessary data) and intelligence (making decisions that enhance the learning process).

In other literature (Dirks, 2009) the term smart city is referred to the relation between the city government or public administration and its citizen. Good governance as an aspect of a smart administration often also referred to the usage of new channels of communication for the citizens, e.g. “e-governance” or “e-democracy” (Dirks, 2009).

The health system is the other area which is highlight like a good solution for a smart city and this implies to use modern technologies to better results (Choenni, 2001). The smart health systems have in view to improve the quality of life for patients, allowing timely diagnosis and therapies and, reducing health care costs, reduce time for access to hospital.

The term smart city has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Since the end of the last century many cities have initiated smart city initiatives.

A useful definition to start to call a city “smart” is when “investments in human and social capital and traditional (transportation) and modern (ICT) infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory government” (Caragliu, 2009).

From the countries which implemented smart cities from the entire world have identified three distinct levels (Spiro, 2006), (Schaffers, 2012) (Figure 15):

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The first step for the smart city is based on the physical telecommunications network infrastructure, comprised of the wiring, the wireless, together with any servers and routers required for operating the infrastructure.

The second layer constitutes applications that facilitate operations in the city, like traffic control, etc. Such applications will be provided by many vendors, using the provided infrastructure.

The third step is based by ubiquitous or connectivity of all.

In the last five years, many new ideas have been developed in terms of urban life. One of the most successful concepts is ubiquitous city. This idea was born in South Korea, and wants to be a new model of sustainable economy based on more efficient use of communication solutions, transportation and natural resources. This city manages information technology ubiquitous.

Figure The steps for a smart city

In order to create a complete U-city, we will need to create new smart solutions for water management, traffic and even health care.

This model city was and is being investigated and implemented in European Union cities such as Oulu city in Finland. All information systems from the city are linked and everything is connected to an information system through technologies such as wireless networks.

The concept of ubiquitous city or U-city has been developed into a huge international research and is also known as Smart Cities in other countries. This city is a smart city model based on the use of computer systems to exchange data such as cloud computing, open date.

The first level of this new model of urban life is one in which houses, streets, offices and transport communicate with each other can be accessible from anywhere.

The first U-city was implemented in South Korea (e.g. New Songdo) and Japan (e.g. Osaka) and delivers information anytime, anywhere to anybody, using interconnected information systems and ubiquitous ICT solutions over the city (Bourdeau, 2008).

Figure U-city (Pollalis, 2006)

There are lots of advantages to this new system: energy and all natural resources are spent more efficiently and synchronization tasks much easier to accomplish.

U-city is based on ubiquitous computing and IT solutions to improve the quality of life (Figure 16). These cities use information and communication technology to connect the activities which taking place in a city. In Oulu city in Finland was implemented a UBI – urban interaction program, coordinated by the University of Oulu. This solution is based on hotspots – public interactive screens that facilities effective communication between citizens and government.

All over the world we can identify a lot of smart city (Table 2) in different level of development and is evident that this concept is used to define an urban evolutions based by modern technologies.

Table Smart cities over the world


Short Description


Helsinki as a Smart city cluster, including also the Helsinki region, in particular focusing on mobile and wireless technologies and applications.


Lisbon’s ambition as a smart city is to improve the city’s liveliness and quality of life, namely through the active involvement of citizens in the city’s governance model. Lisbon aims to become an international hub for world scale companies, benefiting from the bridge Lisbon represents between Europe, Africa and America.


Manchester using modern technologies to promote community engagement, capacity building and social capital

New Sondgo

To use ubiquitous computing in the city is the first objective.


Osaka is based by ubiquitous information systems in city area.


In the last years Oulu becoming the city of technology and an innovation city. Aim to become the most highly developed city in Finland and Northern Europe.


Barcelona had in view to implement of ICT to pursue social and urban growth. Smart City concept was used as a strategic tool and the pillars are infrastructures, open data, innovation service, human capital.

The international practice shows that the evolution of smart city is based on:

Ubiquitous computing;


Readiness for change, because ICT evolution implied to be ready to use new solutions every time.

The analysis highlight that a smart city is more than technology and infrastructure it is a universe of smart applications and platforms which are empowering citizens in innovative ventures. The strong idea is that a smart city is a strategy and an objective for every urban area and in some part of the world is a reality (Jungwoo, 2011).

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According to recent studies (Anthopoulos, 2010), (Begawan, 2010), (Bourdeau, 2008) and (Giffinger, 2007) major advantage is related to improving quality of life.

All the cities who implemented smart solutions had in view to improvement of citizen everyday life. In the last years by implementing smart solutions in different countries from European Union was made:

Increasing the employment rate of employment for men and women aged between 20 and 64 years, while employing a larger number of young people, older and low-skilled people, coupled with a better integration of legal immigrants;

Improving the conditions for research and development in order to increase investment levels and stimulate research, development and innovation of new indicators;

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared, increasing the share of renewable in final energy consumption and achieve increased energy efficiency;

Improving education levels by reducing dropout rates and increasing the proportion of persons aged 30-34 years with university degrees or equivalent qualifications;

Promoting social inclusion by reducing poverty and eliminating the risk of poverty.

The planet development literature uses the concept smart/smarter to refer at intelligence which is being infused into the systems and processes that make the world work. We think that smart/smarter means to infused intelligence into things which no one would recognize as computers: cars, appliances, roadways, power grids, clothes, even natural systems such as agriculture and waterways.

To build a smart planet must to go from three mean ideas:

Instrument the world’s systems;

Interconnect the world’s systems;

Make the world’s systems intelligent.

It is essential for developing a city to have a strategy for a smarter city. This strategy will help determine where and when to invest, will articulate key milestones and returns on investment and can help define an integration/optimization calendar across all systems.

A question of our day is how do the cities smarter and what are the step and principles outlined above in the most cost-effective and productive fashion? The answer is to focus initially on four high-impact areas of improvement (Dirks, 2010):

• Reduce congestion in transport systems – a smart system for traffic;

• Improve government services and public safety – a smart system for government services;

• Improve education systems – a smart system for education;

• Enable appropriate access to healthcare data for better quality of care, early disease detection and prevention – a smart system for health.

Quality of life and the attractiveness of a city are profoundly influenced by the core systems of a city: transport, government services and education, public safety and health (Dirks, 2010).

Research has focused to study areas – education, health, transport, public administration – which are identified having high priority. For this areas were highlight the relationship between sustainable development of city and intelligent systems.

Educational system today is the result of remarkable progress made as a result of using information and communication technologies. Society changes caused by the transmission, storage, processing and access to information and knowledge put their imprint on educational system development. Educational system aims to become intelligence through intelligent systems, modern information and communication technologies. These solutions make daily activities more easily and efficiently.

The existences of an intelligent educational system – focuses on the efficient use of existing infrastructure and modernize it where is necessary – considered crucial during an economic crisis when funds are needed for education.

The intelligent systems represent an important part of future educational process. Them will affect the way in which the information is received, used, understand and learned by users. If the students will be educate, they will know to work for a sustainable city and they will have in view the limits of natural resources.

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are the best example of the harmony between sustainability and telecommunications. ITS unclogs highways by directing drivers to the least congested route, which decreases use of natural resources for fuel and reduces pollution emitted by idling cars (Harley, 2004). Similarly, intelligent traffic management system including passenger information displays, which allow passengers to make the most efficient decisions about their transit routes; intelligent system for the collection of all fees related to motor vehicles; and commuter pattern monitoring through digitized transit passes, which allows for enhanced knowledge about travel activities, like multi-stop trips. All of these technologies provide important improvements to transportation city. Through intelligent transportation systems people are increasing their own productivity. They can place phone calls and send emails from the road; as this author previously observed, telecommunications will make the automobile commute into a productive part of the workday (Moss, 2006).With efficiency heightened and pollution reduced, intelligent transportation systems are a solution for a sustainable future.

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The smarter approach to healthcare is one that uses information to create real insight into patient care and organizational performance. Healthcare providers, researchers and directors can work smarter by creating comprehensive, holistic views of patient data. They can get real time visibility into how their operations are running. And they can use wider ranging sample data to achieve more medical breakthroughs.

Applications for an intelligent health system:

Intelligent system for data integration and its focus on the patient, so that each person have their own information and have access to a team of specialists who can work across the network. Electronic medical record – eliminating paper records made ​​to reduce medical errors and improve efficiency

Intelligent system that connects doctors, patients and insurance companies

Electronic Bulletin of medical

Programming visit / consultation to electronic medical

University Hospital Motol in Prague – one of the largest health institutions in the Czech Republic completed the first implementation of Grid Medical Archive Solution Europe: a system that provides secure storage and archiving solution for the patients’ medical records least 10 years.

Sainte-Justine Hospital in Quebec are using automatic procedures for gathering, managing and updating critical data for research, often scattered in different departments.

Spain Public Health Service has implemented a regional integrated system that allows patients to go to several health centers in the region, with the certainty that that doctor has access to the complete and updated patient data, thus making treatment faster and more accurately.

City governments, which comprise much of the employment and transactions in major urban areas, produce far less paperwork waste with the advent of e-government solutions, intranets and information phone numbers. The intelligent systems allow citizens to pay parking tickets online, processing documents within the government, public procurement tender for access to government services, business forms online, find lost property information, and instantly complete other processes that formerly took months.

Our society is characterized by urbanization – a large number of people live in our days in urban area; technological progress – in every day we can see new solutions for communication, transmission and storage of data; environmental changes – every activity in our day is characterized by the important impact on natural resources how in fact are limited; economical growth – the gross domestic product of our world is substitute by the big cities how bring the people together and stimulate creativity and efficiency.

The entire elements who characterized our society drive us to implement a good manage of infrastructure, of resources and to carer to existing and future needs of citizens.

It can take a lot of time for a city to become really smart. Sometime, the transformation is difficult to do because the mentality of citizens, or other time the evolutions can be stop by the natural disasters. But, to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and deliver the quality of life citizens expect the implementing of smart city.

The urbanization without precedent of our cities and the technological progress on the hand, and on the other hand for a sustainable progress and for economic growth we need smart solutions for water, energy, transportation, healthcare, education, and safety or we can say we need smart solution for new cities.

Figure Smart city advantages

The most significant advantages (Figure 17) are improved of citizen transportation, the access to city resources (libraries and public buildings, malls, networks etc.) and the opportunities for the employment and local growth (Dirks, 2009).

All these advantages highlight the need of implementations smart solutions in our country.

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