Smart utility grids are only one portion of a larger, more complex Smart City grid.
Barbara H. Peterson
A nation’s pulse can be felt through the real estate market. That is one reason I subscribe to Trulia. Trulia is an online service for people looking to buy and sell real estate. Properties are listed on the site for sale and updates are sent to subscribers whenever new properties are listed. This afternoon I received an email with the following trend forecast:
…when it comes to looking forward in the real estate realm, it’s most interesting to wonder: where will the market be bright in the coming year? We posed precisely this question to Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko. His answer was concise and provocative: “Smart cities are hot.” (Trulia 2012 Predictions Newsletter)
The question begging to be answered is – just what is a Smart City?
Anatomy of a Smart City
The dramatic shift of the world’s population into urban areas is encouraging citizens, city planners, businesses and governments to start looking at visions of ‘smart’ cities. Below we look into what is driving the need to establish these networked environments, how smart city concepts and projects are different in the developing world, and what technologies and systems are needed to make them a reality. (Postscapes)
As we can see in a portion of The Anatomy of a Smart City Infographic from Postscapes, smart utility grids are only one portion of a larger, more complex Smart City grid, which includes:
- Smart Environment: Monitoring and management of all environmental elements such as pollution levels, wildlife counts, and water runoff.
- Smart Safety: Safety monitoring for buildings, bridges and dams.
- Smart Transportation: Monitoring and management of all transportation systems, which includes the management of fuel consumption.
- Smart Utilities: Smart Grid technology, which is currently being implemented in the form of Smart Meters to monitor and manage all electricity and water usage.
- Smart Buildings: Office buildings that monitor all energy consumption of every single employee.
Can we spell AGENDA 21 Human Settlement Zones? And according to Trulia’s Chief Economist, investing in properties set up for the collection of people into sections designated as human habitats according to Agenda 21 protocols is a HOT ITEM for 2012!
A Smart City is an environment where literally everything you do and say can and will be monitored because everything and everyone will be attached to a complex grid of sensors and wireless networks, with your particular Smart City acting as the platform on which the grid is maintained.
Stack and pack is on its way, folks, and people will flock to these Smart Cities in droves. Why? Because they will be touted as ecologically sound – “green” if you will, when the only thing green about them is the amount of greenbacks it will take to live there. Contrary to the hype, these are not cool places to live. These are techno-traps loaded with all the gadgets one could possibly want right at your fingertips, put in place specifically to lure one into the trap. The only thing you won’t have is your freedom. But who needs that if you have the latest iPod, eh?.
So, what do we actually gain by paying for the privilege of allowing someone to monitor our every move and every bit of energy consumption and decide when we’ve simply had enough and are cut off? You tell me. I can’t think of one good thing.
© 2011 Barbara H. Peterson