smart city project

GIS Enabled Smart Cities Are the Road to a Sustainable Development


Smart city projects depend on collecting, analysis, and visualization of spatial data and GIS could be a key factor in its success. Let’s examine how geospatial technology for smart cities would help in the design, development, and maintenance of the cities.

smart city project

The growing urbanization and its associated disadvantages are creating a need for self-sustaining cities that leverage technology and paves way for sustainable economic development. City planners and government consider smart cities as a viable alternative for establishing high standards in quality of life, economy, environment, mobility, energy efficiency, and governance. Smart cities and GIS are the future where ICT enables knowledge-based cities that maximize the growth through efficient planning and governance systems.

We can define a smart city as a data-driven environment connected through a wireless network of sensors, cameras, data centers, and other devices. It functions round the clock in a cloud environment and promotes transparent, sustainable, and efficient urban planning.

However, smart city projects are challenging to implement since it requires the integration of multiple technologies and infrastructure to provide uninterrupted living facilities including electricity, water, internet, roads, and sewage. Geographic information systems could be a prominent factor to achieve seamless integration of smart cities and also support in its conceptualization, development, and maintenance.

The application of GIS in developing smart cities

Accurate spatial data is crucial in planning and implementing the framework for efficient smart cities. GIS collects data that helps to identify the right cites for deploying the infrastructure, mark the legal boundaries, manage the construction projects, improve the data analytics, and derive optimal solutions for any deficiencies in the planning.

GIS supports all stages of a smart city project from planning to construction and management. Here is a brief on how GIS facilitates the execution of a smart city project.

  • Site selection – Spatial data and mapping aids in informed decision making whereby the city planners can select the right site. It allows the comparison of various factors such as road network, land use, groundwater depth, soil fertility, and vulnerability to natural disasters. This would give the right property valuation and help to decide on fair compensation for the existing property owners during land acquisition. Further, it also simplifies the rehabilitation of the displaced property owners.

  • Designing and visualization – GIS would enable the accurate depiction of the city model and help to define the specifications. It can ensure stakeholder collaboration in the creation and simulation of the design. Data pertaining to basic facilities like power, water, transport, and drainage are included in the analysis to map the location of the utilities. 3D capabilities render realistic simulation of the development.

  • Legal compliance – Complying with the environmental and legal requirements are tedious during the development stages of smart cities. GIS provides a common platform for collaboration among the stakeholders, the regulators, and the public. The location data generates real-time reports that depict if the compliance requirements are being met. This will simplify the workflow and ensure the smooth progress of the project.

  • Sustainability – GIS also enables the sustainability of the smart city by suggesting efficient ways of waste disposal, conserving energy and water, reducing the carbon footprint, and optimizing the transport network. The streets could be designed for better connectivity and transit accessibility and the various transport routes can be designed accordingly.

  • Efficient project management – Project management software can integrate with GIS to provide a comprehensive picture of the project status, track performance, and organize information from various sources such as environmental studies, inventory control, soil data, and geotechnical studies. By integrating GIS with financial software for accurate cost estimation.

Geographical information systems incorporate location variables in the planning and development of smart cities. It helps to collect geodata, creates spatial databases, and ensures a seamless flow of information and connects the various stakeholders. The technologies such as LIDAR, GPR, UAV/sUAS, and beacons assist in data-driven decision making for land use, transportation network, waste management, deployment of utilities, slum management, and many more.

SBL can assist smart city projects with our powerful GIS solutions. We ensure reliable spatial data for all mapping and analytics requirements throughout the project life cycle. Contact us to discuss the possibilities of using GIS in your smart city project.

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