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In the last years, the definition of smart cities has gone far beyond the sustainability aspect. Now a smart city is a place where all parties employ technology tools to improve the quality of life for citizens. According to McKinsey report, it’s a big industry that is projected to reach $400 billion by 2020. The kind of additional services you can get in smart cities can be fast access to traffic information, parking slots, weather conditions, and more. It’s just like sensors game. Check in this article how this process is fully planned and operated.

Smart City – In the Making process

First, if you want to know who is responsible for smart city creation then we are talking about large technology corporates as Intel, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, IBM, Siemens, Verizon, etc. These corporates contribute to providing new sustainable solutions that can be implemented worldwide. Considering the decision making in this process, it’s a total governmental point. After taking the decision and tailoring the solutions there are eight aspects that must be considered in the process of operating smart cities, in each aspect of them there are installments that should be added to optimize the quality of life in the city. McKinsey pointed for the smart city making strategy as following:


  • Telemedicine
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Lifestyle wearables
  • First aid alerts
  • Real-time air quality information
  • Infectious disease surveillance
  • Data-based public health interventions: Maternal and child health
  • Data-based public health interventions: Sanitation and hygiene
  • Online care search and scheduling
  • Integrated patient ¬flow management systems


  • Real-time public transit information
  • Digital public transit payment
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Predictive maintenance of transportation infrastructure
  • Intelligent traffic signals
  • Congestion pricing
  • Demand-based micro transit
  • Smart parking
  • E-hailing (private and pooled)
  • Car sharing
  • Bike sharing
  • Integrated multimodal information
  • Real-time road navigation
  • Parcel load pooling
  • Smart parcel lockers


  • Predictive policing
  • Real-time crime mapping
  • Gunshot detection
  • Smart surveillance
  • Emergency response optimization
  • Body-worn cameras
  • Disaster early-warning systems
  • Personal alert applications
  • Home security systems
  • Data-driven building inspections
  • Crowd management


  • Water consumption tracking
  • Leakage detection and control
  • Smart irrigation
  • Water quality monitoring


  • Digital tracking and payment for waste disposal
  • Optimization of waste collection routes


  • Building automation systems
  • Home energy automation systems
  • Home energy consumption tracking
  • Smart streetlights
  • Dynamic electricity pricing
  • Distribution automation systems

Economic development and housing

  • Digital business licensing and permitting
  • Digital business tax filing
  • Online retraining programs
  • Personalized education
  • Local e-career centers
  • Digital land-use and building permitting
  • Open cadastral database
  • Peer-to-peer accommodation platforms

Engagement and community

  • Local civic engagement applications
  • Local connection platforms
  • Digital citizen services

By processing this strategy, you are subjected to gain a result of living in a developed city that affects everyone, it’s not only about the residents but also the visitors where they all can be connected to governing services. A higher security and developed city provide a better experience for tourists that push the city income even more. With 600 smart cities now worldwide, it’s expected to generate 60% of the world’s GDP by 2025. In addition to the environmental benefits from energy and water consumption, lower waste, and less CO2 emission. It’s a full cycle of benefits and in the term of numbers here are the main changes that happen when you implement a smart city strategy:

Cycle of Smart City Strategy

Top 10 smart cities worldwide?

A report made by smart city showed these cities as the top 10 smart cities in a list including 50 cities. The main factors the analysis depended on were vision, leadership, budget, financial incentives, support programs, talent-readiness, people-centricity, innovation ecosystem, smart policies and tracking records:

  1. London
  2. Singapore
  3. Seoul
  4. New York
  5. Helsinki
  6. Montreal
  7. Boston
  8. Melbourne
  9. Barcelona
  10. Shanghai

The report pointed out that European smart cities tended to have a more participatory approach with citizens through consultation and designing on the contrary to the American cities that have taken a solitary governmental strategy decision. Worth mentioning that the regions covered by the smart city digital transformation are United States, Canada, PRC, Latin America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Japan.

London as the Smartest City in the World

Last year in June 2018 Sadiq Khan, mayor of London has launched a new initiative “smarter London together” calling for making London the smartest city in the world. This initiative discussed the mayor commitment to provide better digital services, internet connectivity, cybersecurity and innovative ideas. In addition to planning for the City Hall to compensate with the city growth that is expected to reach more than 11 million residents by 2050. The strategy of this initiative was divided into five main missions:

  1. More user-designed services
  2. Strike a new deal for city data
  3. World-class connectivity and smarter streets
  4. Enhance digital leadership and skills
  5. Improve city-wide collaboration

The chief digital officer said that they want to lead how data innovation can serve its citizens. They conducted a listening tour to ask Londoners how they imagine the smart city image and how to develop a more collaborative approach to achieve this goal. The result was not a rigid digital masterplan instead it was a flexible approach to enhance services and interaction between citizens, government, and digital tools.