IBM J. Res. Dev

Foundations for Smarter Cities

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This paper describes the information technology (IT) foundation and principles for Smarter Cities. Smarter Cities are urban areas that exploit operational data, such as that arising from traffic congestion, power consumption statistics, and public safety events, to optimize the operation of city services. The foundational concepts are instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. Instrumented refers to sources of near-real-time real-world data from both physical and virtual sensors. Interconnected means the integration of those data into an enterprise computing platform and the communication of such information among the various city services. Intelligent refers to the inclusion of complex analytics, modeling, optimization, and visualization in the operational business processes to make better operational decisions. This approach enables the adaptation of city services to the behavior of the inhabitants, which permits the optimal use of the available physical infrastructure and resources, for example, in sensing and controlling consumption of energy and water, managing waste processing and transportation systems, and applying optimization to achieve new efficiencies among these resources. Additional roles exist in intelligent interaction between the city and its inhabitants and further contribute to operational efficiency while maintaining or enhancing quality of life. © 2010 IBM.