What are Smart Cities and what are their benefits?

Just as we can see population growth, we can also see a percentage increase in the urban population, which requires new and improved solutions for the main services and infrastructure of cities, such as transport, energy, health, water, waste management.

Also taking into account that cities consume about 80% of the world’s resources and that they occupy only 2% of the resources of the global territory, information and communication technologies (ICT) play, here, a fundamental role in the connection of these resources and in the guarantee of environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Well, smart cities use these technologies to provide citizens with the best solutions for their daily needs and to guarantee a better future with more opportunities. In addition, they reduce the city’s operating costs and resource consumption, generating new business opportunities and increasing the city’s attractiveness.

Mupi Interactivo NOMYU instalado no concelho de Carregal do Sal
Digital Billboard for the portuguese village of Carregal do Sal

In this way, the construction of urban development paradigms, focusing on the smart cities model, marks an intervention strategy in several areas related to the environment, mobility, entrepreneurship, creativity and social innovation.

What makes a city a smart city?

Although there are three main features that define what smart cities are, more specifically physical and technical infrastructure, environmental monitoring and responsiveness, and intelligent services for citizens, there are other particularities:

  • The use of information and communication technologies (ICT);
  • Automation and control of buildings;
  • Efficient urban planning;
  • Urban mobility and sustainable public transport;
  • Technologies applied to education;
  • The environmental concern;
  • Intelligent management of solid waste;
  • Shared data (open data);
  • The e-commerce system;
  • The use of digital billboards, multimedia kiosks and other technological solutions (DOOH);
  • Transparency between governments and citizens;
  • Technologies applied to health.
DOOH para Casa do Professor, em Braga
DOOH for Casa do Professor, in Braga

But what are the advantages of smart cities?

More than four billion people live in cities and two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to move to cities by 2050. Indeed, the city ends up also having to adapt to its inhabitants, in order to respond to their needs and to provide more comfort and productivity for citizens and companies. Besides, it is intended to reduce energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions:

So, there are many benefits of smart cities:

  • Allow better quality of life: in addition to providing free Wi-Fi, they improve the image of the city, making it an appealing place to visit, live and work;
  • Improve mobility and transport flow in the city, providing public transport timetables and information on local attractions;
  • Promote sustainability by simplifying and increasing the use of public transport, which in turn improves air quality;
  • Ensure security by alerting to incidents that may occur;
  • With advertising (DOOH), they increase the flow of income and promote the growth of local businesses;
  • Make the city safer;
  • Promote connectivity between people.
Município de Loures: Artéria tecnológica com mupi digital da PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS
Municipality of Loures: Technological artery with digital billboard by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS

The DOOH hegemony in the digital age

DOOH or Digital Out of Home refers to digital media that are in public places for advertising or informational purposes. They are usually located in places with greater traffic or intense urban movement, in order to attract the attention of the surrounding public. Therefore, and for the success of this type of communication, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS technological solutions contribute a lot, such as digital billboards, multimedia kiosks, interactive tables, among others.

The Wi-Fi system of PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS equipment functions as an access point, as the AP (access point) software allows to take the Internet signal to areas where the original coverage provided by a router is limited. The same happens with USB charging, present in kiosks and useful in the most diverse circumstances.

Also the update of content in real time – through one click – comes to modernize the city. Traditional phone booths now give way to new and modern products, such as NOMYU CityLink.

NOMYU CityLink
The combination of traditional needs, combined with the most contemporary, results in the design of an innovative product, NOMYU CityLink

The future is, therefore, technological and PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS contributes a lot to this reality, whether through smart stops, whose self-service bus ticket kiosks connect carriers with public administration, providing detailed and statistical information, whether through the rental of bicycles, where the interactive kiosks automatically match the user, being possible to manage the updates of each card with regard to the bicycles used, as well as the routes made. Also with the electric vehicle (EV) market growing, consumers need a convenient, reliable and affordable way to charge the electric vehicle outside the home in a safe and easy way. To this end, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS has produced and developed interactive kiosks for this purpose.

Intelligent city technologies provide, therefore, a platform for a two-way dialogue between citizens and the city itself. And it is in dialogue and diversity that progress gains ground.

Smart Stops
Multimedia kiosks benefit people’s daily lives, particularly when renting bicycles

Innovation in smart cities is everywhere, so almost every major city has adopted at least some intelligent city attributes. This is because long-term investment will certainly have a return, not only in terms of citizen satisfaction, but also in terms of sustainability and financial strength.