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Smart Cities made even smarter by new technologies

As city dwellers swell in number, reaching half the world’ s population for the first time in history, the need to increase quality of life in cities is more pressing than ever. In this respect, the sudden availability of new technology comes at exactly the right time.

New technologies can make smart cities even smarter, by incorporating new solutions and capabilities such as artificial intelligence, sensor-driven analytics to solve pressing challenges that cities face, easing traffic, boosting economic growth, and improving access to government services for all residents.

The multinational computer technology corporation Oracle, is working with different smart cities across the world to implement new solutions using the latest technologies.

  • In Calderdale, a rural borough of 200,000 inhabitants in West Yorkshire, residents can report city infrastructures requiring repair and request government services via an online chat with city representatives which is powered by Oracle Service Cloud and operates at all times. Chat agents are handling as many as 2,500 chat inquiries every month, responding instantly and directing residents to the correct web page or city department for a quick resolution of their issue.
  • In Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan metropolis of 3 million residents, smart technologies are used to address the frequent problems the city faces with flooding, due to its proximity to the Rio de la Plata, the widest river in the world. The last major floods, in 2013, proved particularly destructive. Since then, the city has installed a vast network of sensors in its underground storm drainage systems. These sensors record and relay data from rainfall and water levels to city officials, creating an effective early warning system for floods. In addition, the better understanding of the causes of the flooding has allowed the city to add new drainage infrastructure to deal with potential problems, and to initiate a regular program of sewer pipe maintenance.
  • In San Jose, California, a spread-out suburban metropolis of roughly 2 million people, citizens have the option of communicating with the city government using the channel most convenient to them. They can choose email or social media, enter a request on the city’ s customer portal or through direct chat, leave a request on the city’ s website, or use the new My San Jose app for their mobile phones, in order to report city issues or obtain information. The system is powered by Oracle Service Cloud, and allows residents to ask questions and initiate service requests. It connects directly with systems in the transportation, utilities, and parks departments to streamline response, it incorporates easy-to-understand dashboards to guide city information agents, and it uses analytical tools on the service data to anticipate trends.

The original article can be found in Forbes.