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Le phénomène des villes intelligentes expliqué

Smart city: the phenomenon explained

September 25, 2017By Marilyne Messier

Far from being a new phenomenon, we have been hearing about smart cities for a few years now, especially in major Europe cities. Slowly, smart city projects also begin to appear in Quebec. In that matter, did you know that Drummondville, Nmédia’s home city, launched a strategic plan to become a smart city?

First, what is a smart city?

Basically, a smart city is one redesigned by implementing measures that have an impact on the physical and digital environment of its citizens. The key objective is to improve their life quality.

Smart cities are often associated with technology as it is the core of most projects. Such projects can be about simplifying the access to information (mass data gathering and sharing), advocating a sustainable economy, enhancing the infrastructure and environment, supporting urban and social developments, etc.

City operations are improved, such as:

  • Public transportation management
  • Road traffic management
  • Waste management
  • Energy and water infrastructure management
  • Telecommunication

Inspiring smart city projects

Cities become smart with the accumulation of multiple small-scale projects. Certain major cities even have test centres dedicated to come up with projects that could be launched in the city. Here are a few examples of changes made around the world:

  • A website gathering all the information about the city of Rennes
  • Smart lighting systems manageable with smartphones in Amsterdam
  • Districlima, a cooling network powered by waste in Barcelona
  • Smart sidewalks that are larger on their sunny side so that Copenhagen's citizens can enjoy heat and good weather
  • Parking space, noise, carbon monoxide and temperature measuring systems
  • A safe road for children going to school without an accompanying adult in Helsinki
  • A free Wi-Fi network throughout the whole city of Vienna

Smart cities in Quebec

Despite being much less advanced than those in Europe, smart cities start to emerge in the province of Quebec. Here are some of the cities that took the lead:

It is a relatively slow start for smart cities in Quebec... thus the perfect timing to stand out. Sharing your data publicly, integrating the Internet of Thing into your infrastructure or designing mobile applications with superior access to technology are just a few things you can do. The only limitation is your budget and imagination!

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