Connectivity is the glue that holds a city together, bringing different parts into union. In this article we explore what smart cities are, which technologies are prevalent in them, how they affect the larger world around them, and what products can be used in their maintenance.
What constitutes a smart city?
A smart city is a well-connected and intelligent ecosystem that analyses large volumes of data, emitted by a complex network of sensors, devices, software and platforms throughout the city, as a way of improving itself. Smart cities utilise the power of “big data” to reveal patterns and trends in human behaviour present within the city, paving the way for the optimisation of urban services and problem management. As we see the proliferation of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) throughout all modern industries, more and more cities around the world are becoming smarter than ever before. Smart cities are currently dependent on fibre-optic communications, wireless devices, WiFi capabilities, and intelligent sensors.
A recent study carried out by Frost & Sullivan estimates the Smart City market to exceed $2 trillion by 2025, as artificial intelligence and machine learning become more developed in the sector. The same study expects over 80% of the population in developed countries to be living in smart cities by 2050. Europe will have the highest number of smart cities as a continent, as a result of the growing interest of the European Commission in developing these initiatives.
Current smart cities include Manchester, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dubai, Amsterdam and Shanghai.
The Goals of a Smart City
The overarching goal of a smart city is to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants continuously and intelligently. The pursual of this objective leads to various noticeable benefits, including but not limited to the ones described below:
Real-time monitoring of traffic using cameras and speed sensors can lead to easy detection of congestions and collisions. As a result, information about current travel times and the best routes to take can be broadcasted to motorists, allowing for more efficient transportation. Amsterdam is a city where this effect is currently prominent.
Reduced energy consumption
Distributed energy networks can be developed throughout a city monitored by IoT sensors. Analysis of the data from these sensors would enable the city to receive and redistribute electricity to and from multiple energy sources, ensuring an efficient distribution and minimising power losses. San Leandro, California is a city where this factor is currently in development.
Improved public safety
Historical crime data of a city can be analysed in order to estimate where police presence is going to be required the most throughout the day. Currently, the city of Santa Cruz in California uses a combination of sensors and analytic tools to generate a list of 10 places each day where property crimes are most likely to occur, and places police officers in these regions as a way of reducing crime rates.
Improved air quality
Air pollution monitoring equipment can be installed in the streets of a city, creating a heatmap of air quality around the city which is then made available to its inhabitants. This information could be used by civilians to plan out jogging and cycling routes with the best air quality, as well as letting the city know which areas could use the most help with air cleaning technologies. Copenhagen is a city which currently utilises this effect thoroughly.
Adhesives and Sealants for Smart Cities
As smart cities heavily utilise electronic systems involving wireless devices, optical fibres, and WiFi, electronic adhesives and sealants are essential in their upkeep and repairs. Here we explore some of the best products suitable for these purposes:
CW1302 is a filled casting system which can be used for the encapsulation of transformers, capacitors and filters in electronic devices operating in a potentially explosive environment. It has this specialty due to having an excellent thermal endurance, being UL 94 flammability rated, and absorbing little water and moisture. It can be cured and processed at room temperature or slightly higher temperatures.
CW1304 is another optimally filled casting system which is especially good for the encapsulation of inductive components, and metal and ceramic inserts. It offers excellent crack resistance and a low expansion coefficient, making it suitable for use in motors and generators.
Araldite 2011 is a high shear and peel strength epoxy adhesive that offers great resistance to dynamic loading and can bond a wide variety of materials in common use. It can cure at room temperature and is suitable for use in metals, glass, rubber, and rigid plastics. Due to this, it can be easily used in many applications, including that of fibre optics.
Araldite 2028-1 is a transparent, fast curing, UV stable polyurethane adhesive which is suitable for bonding a variety of metal and plastic substrates. It is ideal for use in fibre optic communication systems due to its translucency and excellent strength.