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An introduction to smart cities

The digital revolution has pushed the limits of our technology to new heights and it has had a deep impact into almost every aspect of human life. Amongst these is the way in which we manage the up-keeping and growth of our cities, where data is playing an ever increasing role. Many models have been imagined, and some of them tried, that leverage data to create what has been broadly termed as smart cities. In the article from The Economist, Mining the urban data, they give a good view of some of the most innovative cities worldwide, which range from Masdar in Abu Dhabi (a start-from-scratch project developing a new city which is planned to be completely powered by renewable energy), to the integration of data into cities like Singapore, which is at the forefront of this wave. The article argues that most smart cities will be built from the bottom up (as opposed to projects like Masdar), and those that do join will reap the benefits of higher productivity.

As we take a closer look at ourselves, what have we done to become a smart city? And what can we do better?

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