Minority Report, A.I. but also Blade Runner or the series of Back to the Future: Hollywood has always made the public dream about futuristic and innovative cities with bizarre technologies but often ingenious solutions. Movies have made us imagine a future – now a present – where Artificial Intelligence would have been an everyday technology. The real world wasn’t as fast as Hollywood’s fantasy, but it made enormous progress.

Smart City: a sustainable opportunity

The future of Smart Cities will show a more intrinsic union with new technologies, like AI. More efficient cities, inclusive and personalized services, a better quality of life, but also the opportunity to have intelligent and sustainable cities: are the big challenges and opportunities that new technologies offer for smart cities.

Artificial Intelligence technologies can transform cities from unlivable places to organized and efficient organizations. Thanks to the collected data, it is possible to monitor and direct traffic, forecast potentially dangerous events, suggest solutions to citizens and reduce energy consumption and pollution.

The best examples of Smart Cities

Singapore, Amsterdam, Dubai, Barcelona, Helsinki, and London: are some of the major cities that are building AI models for a more democratic and technological society, focused on human rights. In 2018 Amsterdam, Barcelona, and New York founded the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights (CC4DR), a network that includes more than 50 cities, that aims to define and protect digital rights. Three years later it was launched the Global Observatory on Urban AI aimed at monitoring trends and collecting best practices for responsible use of AI technologies.


Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is a project to promote a smarter, greener and healthier future in the Dutch Capital. To build a sustainable city, smart and technological solutions are needed to solve the problems related to the environment, pollution, renewable energies, and the gradual dropping of fossil fuels. Among the projects, there is ‘Climate Street’, which has made street illumination more efficient, reducing pollution. The local administration has also developed ‘Open City’ to promote people’s participation in the projects. Amsterdam is also very careful about data protection, transparency and privacy: thanks to important initiatives, like ‘The Algorithm Register’, the local administration offers an overview of AI systems and algorithms used in town.


The Finnish Capital is another smart city that is very careful about transparency and data protection to promote the conscious participation of citizens. The city has an ‘AI Register’ with all the information about the current AI technologies, the type of data collected, and their usage. Helsinki promotes projects to reduce the digital divide to have a more inclusive, technological, and innovative city.


In 2011 Barcelona hosted the first Smart City Expo and the World Congress to promote important projects about sustainability and digital. Barcelona has now a capillary network of sensors that monitor traffic, air quality, pollution, and pedestrian transit. The city has also smart garbage bins that discharge garbage in an underground deposit, reducing bad odor and garbage trucks’ journeys.


Olso is implementing smart and sustainable strategies, like 650k LED lights that can change autonomously light intensity and can be remotely controlled.


Singapore is one of the smartest cities in the World. Thanks to the Smart Nation Platform, the local administration collects the essential information to manage efficiently the city. This project accelerates the process of technological integration and improves its inhabitants’ life. Among the projects, the city will introduce smart lights and will promote the installation of more than 6k solar panels on private houses’ roofs. In order to achieve these goals, it is necessary that the city is connected: that’s why 95% of private houses have broadband internet.


With the program Smart Dubai and the app DubaiNow, the Emirates city will digitalize all the services: from transport to ITC, from energy to urban development. The Government aims to save 245 million dollars and this will have a big impact on the environment, too, by avoiding completely paper documents.


The British Capital is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the World. The program ‘Connected London’ will provide 5G to the entire city. Drones will localize the areas where to install antennas to have optimal coverage. ‘Smarter London Together‘ roadmap focuses on five main key points: more services for citizens, the new management of big data, smart streets better digital competencies and cybersecurity, and better collaboration in the entire ecosystem.

MAS Elettronica supports Smart City for sustainability

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