City Life: Living Smarter, Not Harder

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Nearly everyone has, at some point, had to deal with long, terrible commutes caused by traffic congestion at rush hour. Or maybe you have endured long delays, or even spontaneous fires, because your city’s public transit system was never meant to handle the volume of use it is currently expected to provide. In the United States and elsewhere, accelerating urbanization is placing ever-greater pressure on cities to provide services to a larger number of people. Fortunately, technology is making strides, creating alternative ways of addressing problems that have plagued cities since the industrial revolution.

Smart city initiatives are working to help cities take advantage of innovative applications of telecommunications technology, data science, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to change how cities interact with citizens. According to Ramez Shehadi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Booz Allen Hamilton – MENA, “the real opportunity is in a future where public government services do not compete against one another, but interconnect with – and complement – each other.” The exact applications vary from city to city, as the field is still developing, but the number of applications appears to be both diverse and poised to improve the quality of life for everyday citizens, in addition to making governance easier, cheaper, and more efficient.

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