Smart cities are struggling to make a positive impact on the environment. Much of the problems can be mitigated through the integration of technology, specifically the Internet of Things (IOT).

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Smart cities are struggling to make a positive impact on the environment. Much of the problems can be mitigated through the integration of technology, specifically the Internet of Things (IOT).

We are on the brink of a new age. With the ever advancing temperatures and the increasing access to technology, our world is steadily creating a new era of intermixing tech and nature. The evolution of cities are a product of this change. From the age of ports, to industrial hubs, to tech giants. Now, a new generation of cities are being born — the smart city. But are they living up to their expectations?

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Cities are connecting their public infrastructure in order to run their municipalities more efficiently

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Cities are connecting their public infrastructure in order to run their municipalities more efficiently

People continue to flock to cities for several reasons, such as employment opportunities, lifestyle, and more.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data showed that all but one of the 20 largest cities in the U.S. experienced population growth last year. And with the exception of New York City, the 15 cities that had the greatest population growth were in the southern and western portions of the country.

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Ambitious new cities are aiming to be laboratories for sustainable city planning.

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Ambitious new cities are aiming to be laboratories for sustainable city planning.

Masdar, on the edges of Abu Dhabi, was billed as the world’s first sustainable city when it was conceived in 2006. It was intended to be a zero-carbon, zero-waste city, with smart technology embedded across all the city’s functions. A decade on and ambitions have cooled. The completion date has moved from 2016 to 2030 and city authorities have said it won’t achieve the original aim of being a net zero-emissions city.

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Smart Cities Start with Smart Buildings

More government agencies are using information and communications technologies to create “Smart Cities” and smart buildings in order to improve the quality and interactivity of urban services, while reducing costs and ensuring sustainability.

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Smart cities: helping to improve our lives and save the planet

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Smart cities: helping to improve our lives and save the planet

euobserver

Using technology to improve the lives of their citizens, reduce costs, and become greener

""Western European cities are a bit further ahead in many of these advanced technologies, but I'd say that the Eastern European cities are picking up very quickly. I believe also that cities that are new and active and growing quickly, they are often pretty good at leapfrogging processes and taking up new ideas quicker – sometimes old cities have difficulties [and] are very conservative.”

What is needed in the words of Cisco's Boorsma, is "vision and true leadership", including the willingness to take risks."

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