Life in the city has as many supporters as opponents. Lovers of the countryside usually argue their decision to live there on the grounds of attachment to nature, a smaller, more close-knit community, access to space or the prevailing tranquility. However, there are some advantages of living in the city that even they find hard to argue with. What do they include?
Access to culture
In a larger city there is constantly something going on – concerts, new exhibitions in museums, meetings with interesting people, theater, cinemas. This ease of access to culture makes it simply hard to get bored in a city. What’s more, cities are constantly developing and changing – new clubs, restaurants, sports facilities are being built in them, which is a very attractive phenomenon for residents looking for new forms of leisure activities.
Larger job market
Cities also mean big opportunities when it comes to the job market. This is an important argument especially for young people and those looking for work in a less standard profession than the local doctor, lawyer or salesman. Just open any prortal with job listings to see what we are writing about.
High level of education
It is in urban centers that schools tend to be of a higher standard, and there is a much wider choice as well. Parents can opt for a school with a profile that best suits their child’s tastes and talents, not to mention even college.
Proximity to stores, offices, friends
Although in the countryside supposedly everyone knows each other, in the city we are actually closer to acquaintances and friends. What’s more, living in a city, we also have all kinds of stores, services, offices and attractions “right under our noses,” which is a big convenience in everyday life. And a well-developed public transportation system allows us to avoid using the car.
Greater tolerance for diversity
All sorts of social changes are born in cities, and they are more prone to change and diversity. Large cities are usually clusters of people with different views, different looks, different backgrounds. This teaches tolerance and opens you up to the other person.
The countryside, unfortunately, is famous for its ubiquitous gossip and observation of the lives of others. You won’t experience this in the city, where most people are strangers to each other, plus the rush of life in the city is greater and simply everyone prefers to get on with their own lives. However, when we want to get to know someone, it won’t be a problem, because there are so many kinds of events, parties and public spaces that it’s impossible not to come across someone with similar interests.
Benefits for cities of being a Smart City
Smart City is a mysterious term for many people, overused and often undefined. This is due to the fact that we can encounter many definitions and diverse strategies for implementing solutions from the Smart City category. It should be noted here that all concepts are united by one phrase: higher quality of life for residents through the use of new methodologies, process improvement and the use of new technologies. Moreover, this is perfectly evident from the numerous Smart City examples from the world.
The road to the Smart City
Initially, the idea of a smart city was based on the implementation of ICT solutions in the city’s infrastructure: roads, street lamps, water and sewage networks. This is what Smart City 1.0 looked like. Unfortunately, the creators of this idea got greedy with futuristic visions of the future, putting technology first – rather than improving the quality of life of residents. This has resulted in the emergence of fully computerized cities like Songdo in South Korea, where few people now want to live.
This is because there aren’t many job opportunities locally, the city seems deserted and all the stores are far away. Relying only on technology, i.e. implementing the Internet of Things, will not achieve the desired goal. Nonetheless, this valuable layer of information is essential for improving the quality of life, for example, for managing waste systems or collecting data on energy consumption.
Smart City activities are a comprehensive process.
It should start with analyzing the current situation, understanding needs and seeing opportunities. Then one should move on to the creation of strategies and specific recommendations that will provide the backbone for later activities and achieve the goals.
Only at the end does one move on to the implementation of all initiatives, starting with elements related to management, project conduct and communication, and ending with advanced ICT solutions. With more and more projects focused on being Smart City-centered, it has been recognized that the most important thing in all of this is human needs, and it is worth starting with defining problems and then moving on to finding solutions, not necessarily technological ones. This, incidentally, is the key difference between Smart City 3.0 and earlier generations.
Smart City can currently be divided into five areas: