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Friday December 09, 2022

These are the smartest cities in Europe

Smart city govts use communication technologies and data to overcome social, environmental, and economic challenges

By Web Desk
November 16, 2022
Image shows illustration of a smart city.— Pixabay
Image shows illustration of a smart city.— Pixabay

Known for its industrial, socioeconomic, and agricultural diversity, Europe has become the centre of global trade in the past few decades. One of the primary reasons behind this is the technological developments in major European cities like Stockholm, London, Vienna, and Copenhagen.

While the cities have preserved ancient history by keeping the historical monuments and museums safe, they have advanced the available resources and improved the quality of life through digital transformation. 

One of the ways this has happened is via the development of smart cities. A smart city, much like a smartphone, is a city that uses data analysis and artificial intelligence to "centralise information and optimise limited resource allocation, utilization, management, and conservation", according to IBM.

Smart city governments use technology for the welfare of its citizens. They use a combination of communication technologies, data, and integrated information to overcome social, environmental, and even economic challenges. 

Industry 4.0 technologies like quantum computing, big data and analytics, 5G, AI, and Application Programming Interface (API) are just a few that are used in the standard framework design by smart governments.

One example could be the on-street sensors that control traffic. Another could be technologies that collect data on autonomous vehicles.

Some of the latest innovations in European cities include smart mobility, digitisation of security, agriculture 4.0, e-governance, and advanced waste management.

Some of the smartest European cities are as follows, according to a report by Irish Tech News:

Barcelona, Spain

To help people and businesses make digital transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic that affected people economically, the city introduced Real Economy Currency (REC) as a local financial tool. Payment for necessary services like parking or shopping in retail stores and tourism sites is done via REC.

Vienna, Austria

Making headlines in the EU for its rapid transformations, Vienna is quickly becoming one of the smartest cities in the region. It established its own Smart City Framework to advance infrastructure.

Zurich, Switzerland

Powered by an IoT-based Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN), Zurich is rightfully one of the most advanced cities in the world. The LoRaWAN collects real-time data at all times of the day. 

Santander, Spain

Another one from Spain, Santander is not just a vibrant destination but also has become a smart city with its Santander City App which helps locals and tourists to enjoy facilities in the city. It has accurate information and payment methods. 

Helsinki, Finland

With its new mobility service connecting all vehicles like cars, scooters, taxis, bikes and even public transportation, Helsinki is one the most developed cities. Whim, the application launched by the Helsinki government, helps people move around the city effortlessly.