There are dozens of ways to define a smart city based on the types of technology implemented and its goals. For example, developments of ubiquitous cities (U-Cities) in South Korea has been notable - U-Cities aim to connect citizens to any service through any smart device. Knowledge cities focus on the innovation of the knowledge economy and subsequently aim to increase its skilled workforce. A digital city is defined as a city that allows for increased interconnection and information sharing. Despite a wide range in the purposes behind smart cities, they generally promote the efficient use of physical infrastructure and act as a collaborative effort between locals and government to improve the city.
The realization of smart city concepts relies on the adoption of communication technologies, including low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) and cellular networks such as 4G/LTE and 5G. The newest generation mobile network 5G promises exponentially higher data speeds and ultra-low latency, in comparison to the currently wide-spread 4G, and is therefore a key factor in bringing about the maturation of smart city projects. Such technologies also lay the foundation for the Internet of Things (IoT) – a vast network of smart devices which work together in collecting and analysing data and performing actions – which makes smart cities possible.
ICT in smart cities can be used for a wide range of urban services including hospitals, traffic and transportation, power plants, water supply, waste management, and law enforcement. Smart connections aim to meet market demand and more efficiently use the city’s public resources. Cities can promote the adaption of smart electricity metering, use sensors to detect leakage and pollution in water infrastructure and resources, place sensors in city waste containers to determine when they are full, or implement dynamic traffic light sequences, among thousands of other possibilities. As the inevitability towards increasing and aging urban populations, changing climates and economies, and a substantial shift towards online consumption become evident, the proliferation of using various aspects of smart cities becomes a necessity.