The reality around us is evolving at a dizzying pace and our cities are not lagging behind in that change. They are the protagonists of a radical transformation that, thanks to digitalisation and connectivity, has given rise to the so-called Smart Cities. This is one of the areas of interest of La Lonja de la Innovación, so in our showroom we have several startups that develop solutions in this sector, such as Movisat, Dinycon, iUrban and Urbiótica.
In this way, what seems scifi is now our reality. Nowadays, almost every city in the world is smart, to a greater or lesser degree. But what are Smart Cities exactly? We explain it in this post
What is a Smart City?
Smart Cities are urban ecosystems that employ information and communication technology (ICT) and innovation to create better and more sustainable infrastructures and, thus improving their citizens’ life quality and reducing their environmental impact.
These cities use technologies such as sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), data analysis, artificial intelligence systems, etc., to gather information on aspects such as traffic, air quality, energy used, solar radiation index, etc., and thus be able to respond quickly and agilely to problems that arise, facilitating daily processes.
To better understand what these smart cities are all about, here are some of their main features:
- Interconnection. The elements and infrastructure that make up these smart cities must be interconnected to be able to make resource’s management more efficient.
- Data transparency. Smart Cities require the management of large volumes of data, so it is necessary to have a digital administration that is transparent and open and that also promotes citizen participation
- Energy efficiency. They make use of Smart Grids, that is, intelligent electrical networks that allow bidirectional data communication between users and the control center. These electrical grids are interconnected and facilitate real-time monitoring of energy consumption, optimizing the quality of service.
- Urban mobility. One of the issues that smart cities delve into is the management of traffic and public transportation. In this way, there are devices that measure real-time traffic, indicate parking occupancy, enable the geolocation of public transport vehicles, etc. This allows for better management of urban mobility.
The arrival of this new paradigm opens up new opportunities for entrepreneurs, who can contribute intelligent solutions to implement in a smart city and promote its transformation. There are several areas in which you can embark on entrepreneurship within smart cities, for example, urban mobility, sustainable energy and public safety, among others.
With smart cities there are many unexploited opportunities that open the door to new solutions and companies that know how to innovate. It isn’t necessary to think in unreachable macro projects to succeed in this sector, you just need to know well the urban area where you are going to work, detect any need that exists in the city and turn it into a new business model that applies technology. If you already have an innovative idea that fits within the smart cities sector, La Lonja de la Innovación can help you to accelerate it and make it go far through our startup acceleration program.