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article imageA smart city will improve your quality of life

By Tim Sandle     Jun 5, 2018 in Technology
Toronto - Over half of millennials polled believe that a smart city would improve their quality of life. This matches an interest in everything from smart cars to connected spaces.
The new survey comes from INFINITI LAB, which is a Smart Cities and Internet of Things accelerator run from car brand INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. The headline from the survey, which examined people in Canada, is that more than half of Canadian millennials (59 percent) are of the view that a smart city would improve their quality of life. This contrasts with 33 percent of Gen Xers and 29 percent of Baby Boomers who hold similar views.
The survey also looked at differences between different parts of Canada. Here 42 percent of all Ontarians think that smart cities will increase their quality of life.
A smart city is any urban area that make full use of electronic data collection sensors. Such data is used to supply information o manage assets and resources efficiently. This includes data relating to citizens, devices, and assets, and which is used to manage activities like transportation systems, power plants, water supply networks, and waste management. Data also relates to law enforcement, information systems, and for the improving community services like schools, libraries, and hospitals.
There are other aspects to smart cities too like connectivity opening up a range of services, like ordering groceries. Another area associated with the smart city is the use of electric vehicles (and soon autonomous cars). Interest in this area is picked up by Adam Paterson, managing director of INFINITI Canada, who states: "Canadian millennials believe in the potential of smart cities, and desire technology such as electric vehicles, autonomous driving and ridesharing that could improve their daily lives."
Smart cities require innovative startups to provide the technology and ideas required to make the vision a reality. Five Canadian startups are examined in the follow-up article "Five innovators for the emerging smart city."
In related smart city news, Sidewalk Labs, the company owned by Google's parent Alphabet, is setting out to develop Toronto's Eastern waterfront into the first 'digital city' ("Mixed reactions to Toronto's waterfront becoming a 'digital city'"). While smart cities offer several advantages, a recurrent concern relates to data privacy. In terms of what privacy means in a city where our location, our actions, even our intentions are being tracked and recorded means, see the Digital Journal article "Privacy concerns for living in the smart city."
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