By Dr. Solmaz Rezaei
Head of research and consulting department
Cities as the oldest place of emergence and occurrence of human civilization have always been a topic of great interest to researchers and thinkers in different fields of science in order to improve the quality of urban life in accordance with the needs of the urban community. In this regard, the use of modern communication and information technologies is the basis for making tremendous progress in urban lifestyle, and this issue is consistently expanding. Such developments have created a concept called “smart cities” that could respond to the rapid expansion of urbanization and the movement towards the sustainability of cities. In a smart city, six issues of transportation, environment, economy, citizens, lifestyle and management are intelligent, and this is the path to the performance of operations and the level of urban services that meets the needs of current citizens and future generations. In this regard, the Internet of Things (IOT), as a result of the expansion of the Internet and wireless technology, is an essential component of a smart city. The Internet of Things, referred to as a new topic in communications technology, creates intelligent communication between objects, individuals, trends and data, first introduced by Kevin Ashton in 1999. In this technology, a set of tools and objects are capable of communicating with the Internet, directly or indirectly, creating intelligent environments by collecting data, as well as communicating with other objects and a database. According to the definition of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Internet is the global infrastructure for the information society, which, based on communication technologies with the ability to interact extensively through the connection (physical and virtual) of objects, enables advanced services. Considering that one of the most important requirements for achieving a smart city is the existence of reliable technical structures for the use of information and communication technology, the Internet of Things can play an important role in various urban components. Today, in cities as complex and macro structures, many factors such as urban traffic, energy supply, economy, environment, and many more form the challenges faced by urban executives who have smart development solutions, such as using the Internet of things feature where there is no need to human-human or human-computer interaction. This massive technology creates data that can be analyzed by studying urban infrastructure to reduce energy consumption, reduce environmental degradation, and many more. According to available statistics, by 2015, there are about 2.5 billion Internet-based tools available, i.e. 3.47 tools for every human being, and projections show that by 2020, that number will reach about 7 instruments per human being, which this remarkable growth shows the importance of IOT more than ever before. Practical applications of this technology include a wide range of topics that are referred to as following:
1- Urban Transport and Traffic: Using Internet of Thing, data can be collected from various urban transportation systems such as subway, trolley, bus, taxi, cars etc., and managed after processing. Outputs from such a system include information on the closest available parking spot, intelligent traffic control and automatic payment of tolls in specific traffic areas of cities. In this way, physical devices in the transportation system become an active network of information.
2. Urban Energy Management: IOT-based control systems can manage energy requirements for urban lighting, urban services, transportation, heating and cooling of buildings, and many more, based on the demand analysis of received data.
3. Urban waste management: Sensors connected to waste tanks can collect accurate information about the time of filling and type of waste and identify the best route and time of waste collection using a central analyst software.
4. Home automation: IOT-based tools can monitor, control, and manage mechanical, electronic, and all home systems, such as energy and lighting of buildings. In such smart buildings, the residents’ behavior is being carefully considered to reduce energy consumption.
The statistics show that by the year 2025, the number of smart cities in the world that use IOT-based tools will be available to 88 cities. Today, cities like Barcelona, with a population of over 1.6 million people, use this technology to significantly improve the quality of urban life, resulting in annual income of more than $ 6.3 billion dollars, resulting from cost reductions in the metropolitan area.