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10 smart city overseas cases

Smart City
Smart City

In recent years, “smart cities” have been attracting attention, and cities around the world are moving toward realization. With rapid urbanization, it is an urgent task to improve the efficiency of energy use in urban areas, and smart cities are expected to be the solution. This article introduces 10 cases that are being promoted overseas.

table of contents

  • What is a smart city?
    • Definition of smart city
    • Related Links
      • ■ 10 selections of smart city domestic cases [latest version in 2020]
  • American smart city case
    • New York
    • Columbus
    • Chicago
    • San Francisco
  • [2] Canada’s smart city case
    • Toronto
  • [3] Case of a smart city in England
    • Manchester
    • Bristol
  • [4] Examples of smart cities in Denmark
    • Copenhagen
  • [5] A case study of a smart city in the Netherlands
    • Amsterdam
  • [6] Estonian smart city case
  • [7] Singapore’s smart city case
  • [8] China’s smart city case
    • Hangzhou
  • [9] United Arab Emirates smart city case
    • Dubai
  • [10] Examples of initiatives for smart cities by giant IT companies
    • Google
    • Alibaba
  • summary

What is a smart city?

Definition of smart city

What is a smart city? “By utilizing various types of data acquired through IoT, etc., the assets and resources of the city can be effectively utilized, and the citizens living there can receive better services (including administrative services). Can be defined as “a city that can do”. Cities, where the following efforts are being made, are called smart cities.

  • Government agencies, public institutions, and companies collect data through IoT, etc.
  • AI and specialized institutions analyze the data
  • The data will be used when providing services from governments, public institutions, and businesses, allowing citizens to have a more comfortable life.

American smart city case

New York


New York is a smart city advanced region that was commended as the best smart city at the “Smart City Expo World Congress” in 2016.
In New York, we will introduce “NYC Open Data,” an open data project aimed at utilizing data by citizens, “LinkNYC,” which installs information terminal equipment in cities, and “Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project,” which is a large-scale development.

NYC Open Data
In New York, the Open Data Law (Local Law11 of 2012) has been enacted to support the utilization of data by citizens, and“NYC Open Data” provides more than 1,600 datasets. There is. The movement of data utilization extends to the government, and to promote the disclosure and utilization of data across the organization, the data analysis room (MODA: Mayor’s) consisting of CAO (Chief Analytics Officer) and several data analysts at the city hall Office of Data Analytics) is installed.

“LinkNYC” is a project to turn existing payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots. It will replace payphones, which have become obsolete and less used, with information terminals called Links, and at the same time make them hotspots that provide free Wi-Fi.
Link is a tower type with a height of about 3 meters, and in addition to being able to use Wi-Fi, it is possible to check local information and transportation through a large touch screen, a mobile phone charging station, free domestic phone calls, etc. The function of is installed. Since the operating cost of Link is covered by the advertising revenue displayed on the display, public funds are not used.
Currently, about 1,200 units are installed in the city, and it is planned to expand to about 10,000 locations. In the future, it is expected that the data of various sensors, cameras, users, etc. mounted on Link will be analyzed and used to solve problems in the region.

Yards Redevelopment Project The Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, which has been a large-scale development since the Rockefeller Center, will also introduce smart city functions. In this project, each building and facility will be connected by a network, and it will be possible to collect data from sensors installed in various places and analyze regional trends in real-time. It is expected that the following functions will be realized by analyzing this data.

  • Traffic congestion and improved transportation services by predicting the flow of pedestrians
  • Monitoring indoor and outdoor atmospheric conditions
  • Monitor the health status and behavior level of residents through a mobile app
  • Evaluation of proper recycling of garbage
  • Monitoring the usage of combined heat and power system (cogeneration) and microgrid



Columbus, Ohio won the “Smart City Challenge” contest to select cities with the most advanced mobility initiatives in the United States, and with the funds, started the 2017 “Smart Columbus” project. “Smart Columbus” is expected to be deployed horizontally in cities throughout the United States as a model case for smart cities in small and medium-sized cities, and we are aiming to introduce the following four systems.

  • CCTN (Columbus Connected Transportation Network): A network in which each means of transportation, various services, and users are linked and connected by data.
  • IDE (Integrated Data Exchange): An open platform for integrating various data and solving various problems.
  • EHS (Enhance Human Services): A service that allows all residents and travelers, including the elderly, the poor, and people with disabilities, to easily travel using various means of transportation.
  • EV Infrastructure (Electric Vehicle Infrastructure): Enhancement of public and private charging infrastructure and expansion of sharing services for the spread of EV

The real-time data of “Smart Columbus” is collected on a web-based platform called “Smart Columbus Operating System”, and the open data is widely used from each project to food-related and medical-related.



In Chicago, the IoT-based smart city project “Array of Things (IoT)”, which is the first initiative in the United States, is underway.
Launched in Chicago in 2015, the Array of Things, in collaboration with scientists, universities, local governments, and citizens, collects real-time data on the urban environment, infrastructure, and urban activity for research and public use. This is an attempt to utilize a group of networked sensors.
In this project, sensor devices incorporating programmable sensors will be installed in the city to collect real-time data on urban environments such as weather, atmosphere, and noise. There are the following types of sensors installed in the city.

  • Environment sensor group (temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, vibration, sound pressure, magnetism)
  • Atmospheric sensor group (nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide)
  • Light / infrared sensor group (light intensity, infrared, camera)

The data released in real-time by “Array of Things” is expected to be useful for solving various problems such as air pollution, heat island phenomenon, noise, and traffic congestion.

San Francisco


In San Francisco, California, data visualization and openness are being promoted in an attempt to connect urban data to smart cities. The city provides an open data service called “DataSF” that provides administrative information data free of charge to improve public services.
“DataSF” has 471 datasets released (as of March 2020), and the fields of datasets are city administration management, geographic information, transportation, infrastructure, housing, culture, economy, energy, and environment, It covers all fields, from security to health and society.
By transmitting open data from the portal site, analysis and research, performance visualization, activity evaluation, development of Web or smartphone applications will progress, and a data-driven ecosystem will develop. It is expected that the open data transmission of “DataSF” will create a virtuous cycle of improving the quality of life of citizens, improving the efficiency of service provision, making correct decisions, and creating new businesses.
As examples of analysis of publicly available administrative open data, examples of the city’s administrative activities such as infant nutrition programs, cultural property protection, and land price evaluation are introduced. In addition, applications that utilize open data include 3D maps of buildings in the city, housing policies and data, and land information.

[2] Canada’s smart city case



In Toronto, Canada, a project named “Sidewalk Toronto” is underway.
Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America, with an urban population of 2.9 million expected to grow by 32%, a metro area of ​​6.7 million people expected to grow by 42%, and 51% of the population abroad over the next 25 years. Born in Toronto and used in 140 languages, it is said to be the most diverse city in the world.
“Sidewalk Toronto” collects various data such as behavior data of residents, and aims to create a better life for residents and the environment based on those data. Sidewalk Labs,
which is owned by Google’s holding company Alphabet, is participating in the project, and it aims to create a city that utilizes big data by grasping the movement of people and things in every place with sensors, but it was collected. There is a debate over data utilization and privacy issues.

[3] Case of the smart city in England



Manchester, England is strongly promoting smart cities, intending to be in the top 20 smart cities in the world by 2025. In the area (243 hectares) where global research institutes, universities, medical institutions, etc. are concentrated, named Manchester Corridor, “Medical / Health”, “Transportation / Transportation”, and “Medical / Health”, “City Verve”
projects from 2015 to 2017. Demonstration experiments were conducted focusing on the four areas of “energy/environment” and “culture/community”.


  • Improve the health of patients with respiratory illness with biometric sensor networks
  • Exercise is recommended by grasping and recording the status of exercise and activities by individuals and groups and providing them to users (community wellness).

Transportation / Transportation

  • Installation of “Talkative bus stops” that tells the driver that the user is waiting by combining sensors, digital signage, applications, etc.
  • Converted the main road of Manchester Corridor to a dedicated road for bicycles and buses. Promote inexpensive bicycle-sharing by attaching IoT wireless tags to bicycles


  • Install IoT tags on street lights and various equipment on the road to grasp the air quality at different locations and altitudes (air quality monitoring)
  • Introduced smart streetlights as a complementary service to conventional streetlights

Culture / community

  • Set up a Wi-Fi hotspot with access to information on public and commercial services and cultural events



In the city of Bristol, England, a joint venture launched by the city and a university is the main body, and efforts are being made regarding open data and its utilization while involving private companies.
“Bristol is Open” aims to promote the business of each cooperating organization by building a network environment in the city and opening various collected information.
A sensor is attached to the smartphone or GPS device of the desired participant, a testbed (test platform in the actual environment) that collects all information (energy, air quality, traffic information, etc.) in urban life is prepared, and the collected data is, Transportation area such as congestion mitigation, waste management, air pollution control, entertainment, energy supply, and management, etc.

[4] Examples of smart cities in Denmark



Copenhagen, Denmark, has received international acclaim, including receiving the “World Smart City Awards” (2014) for its smart city initiatives.
Denmark, an IT nation, has set a high goal of realizing a “defossil fuel society” by 2050, and Copenhagen has set a core goal of its smart city strategy to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2025. The vision is to become the world’s first capital to do so (2025 Copenhagen Climate Change Adaptation Plan).
Under these circumstances, we are working on the following projects such as smart cities, focusing on the four priority areas of energy consumption, energy production, mobility, and efficiency improvement in the city authorities.

Copenhagen Connecting
“Copenhagen Connecting” is a project to analyze and utilize the data collected through sensors and Wi-Fi in the city, and to develop various technologies and solutions related to smart cities.
By utilizing data, improving infrastructure, and collaborating with various regional organizations, we will focus on areas such as “health,” “mobility,” “energy and climate,” “citizens,” and “education,” while improving the efficiency of the entire city. That is the purpose.

CITS (Copenhagen Intelligent Traffic Solutions)
“CITS”(Copenhagen Intelligent Traffic Solutions) is a project aimed at improving traffic congestion, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and improving the safety of citizens.
By analyzing the data collected from various sensors, it is possible to predict and improve traffic congestion, utilize it for traffic regulation, reduce exhaust gas, and ensure the safety of citizens.
Even city personnel with little knowledge of IT are provided with a system that makes it easy to predict traffic from the dashboard.

DOLL Living Lab
“DOLL Living Lab” uses a corner of an office district or a residential area as a demonstration experiment site, spreads an information network on a mesh, installs the latest lighting solutions of domestic lighting-related companies, and installs the latest lighting solutions of local temperatures and pollutants. Equipped with a sensor that measures the distribution, it measures information such as the temperature on the road and the concentration of air pollutants. Through this network, we will work on the development of cutting-edge lighting solutions that function wisely indoors and outdoors.
In addition, LiFi (Light Fidelity), a high-speed wireless communication technology that uses LEDs, has been introduced, and its use as a foundation for smart cities is also being considered.

[5] A case study of a smart city in the Netherlands



Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has set a goal of reducing CO 2 emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2025, in collaboration with residents, central and local governments, businesses, education, and research institutions. In addition, the Amsterdam Smart City Program (ASC) was launched in 2009, focusing on areas of sustainable living, sustainable mobility, sustainable public spaces, and sustainable workplaces.
The Amsterdam Smart City Program combines smart grids with all the latest technologies to enable the efficient use of the capital’s information, capital, and urban infrastructure for a sustainable, quality ecological life and new life. We aim to achieve economic growth at the same time. In addition to the environment and energy business, the aim is to expand the area of ​​smart cities to public services, health care, agriculture, etc., and at the same time, solve social issues by utilizing big data. The Amsterdam Smart City Program has developed several projects utilizing technologies such as smart grids on the five themes of life, work, mobility, public facilities, and open data, with a focus on reducing energy consumption and CO 2 emissions. ing.

  • Smarter living energy: Install smart meters in ordinary households to visualize energy consumption. In addition, we will reduce power consumption throughout the district by holding energy-saving seminars and soliciting ideas for residents.
  • Residents’satellite office: A satellite office that can be used by residents is set up near the residential area with the aim of reducing2to traffic congestion.
  • Smart parking: A shared parking system that allows you to obtain parking lot availability information on your smartphone and make reservations.
  • Smarter commercial areas: Install smart meters and displays in the facility to visualize energy consumption. Highly efficient lighting such as LED is also installed
  • Data mapping: Various information such as energy consumption in each region and the status of urban infrastructure is published on an open data map. The current situation and issues are visualized through the map, and it is also used for policymaking.

[6] Estonian smart city case


Estonia is known for its advanced efforts in the IT field, and a typical example is “e-government. ” This uses IT to streamline and improve the services provided by the government and the functions of the government itself and has the advantage that everything can be completed online. For example, the world’s first electronic voting was held in the national election, and the mechanism called “e-residency (virtual inhabitants)” can be mentioned.
In addition, one of the elements that make up such e-government is the national ID. The system, which started in 2002, issues national IDs in the form of “eID cards” to citizens and migrants to Estonia. Currently, 98% of Estonians own this eID card. ing. The eID card functions as a passport and national health insurance card, and is also used for electronic voting identity verification and all administrative procedures that can be done online.

National ID card / database linkage (X-Road) / e-Residency

  • All personal information of Estonian citizens is linked to the ID and can be accessed from the portal site. You can also refer to medical service information, etc.
  • Establish a network (X-Road) that can securely link data owned by government ministries and private companies
  • Introduced e-Residency (virtual residents) to promote the attraction of companies from foreign countries. Foreigners can also use e-government systems from abroad

e-Business Register

  • As a result of being able to register a corporation online with the “e-Business Register”, the fastest registration in the world is possible (at the shortest, a dozen minutes).
  • Information on companies and NPOs is collected and disclosed, and it is used for business-related investigations and has the effect of deterring crime.

mobile parking

  • “Mobile parking” allows online payment and availability search and has a system to alleviate congestion by changing the charge in advance if congestion is expected.

[7] Singapore’s smart city case


In Singapore, ICT technology is being actively introduced to realize a “Smart Nation”, and for this purpose, the “Smart Nation Program Office” was newly established in the Prime Minister’s Office. The three priority themes are “establishment of the national sensor network (SNSP)”, “promotion of digital payment”, and “construction of national digital identification (NDI) system”.

Installation of national sensor network

  • Aiming for convenient and safe public services by installing a large number of surveillance cameras and sensors and collecting various data such as traffic such as people and cars, weather, and urban infrastructure conditions.
  • Information is disclosed on portal sites, etc. so that the information collected from sensors can be widely used by the public.

Popularization of digital payments

  • In July 2017, we launched “PayNow,” a mobile remittance service that allows you to transfer money between bank accounts using only your mobile phone number or identification number. This service, developed by the Singapore Bankers Association, is affiliated with seven local and foreign banks, and remittances to other banks can be made immediately for free. PayNow has registered 500,000 people in the five weeks since the service started.
  • It also supports remittance services using QR codes and can be used by permanent residents and foreigners residing in Japan.

Construction of National Digital Identification System (NDI System)

  • New establishment of identification number service for corporations, etc.

[8] China’s smart city case



Alibaba is the company in charge of smart cities in China. The company’s “ET Brain” is an abbreviation for Evolutionary Technology Brain, which is a comprehensive AI (artificial intelligence) platform for solving social and business challenges such as urban problems, environmental problems, and social disparity problems with advanced technology. .. Hangzhou’s “ET City Brain Project” is being carried out using that platform.
By analyzing the images of the road live camera in real-time with AI and automating various responses according to the situation, the following effects were realized.

  • Information on traffic violations and accidents sent to the police via the AI ​​of this system is 500 cases on many days
    (Source: Report on-site visits to each country related to the “Super City” concept )
    By automatically switching traffic lights according to traffic conditions Ambulance arrival time halved, car speed increased by 15% in some areas
    (Source: Alibaba Cloud )
  • Analysis of traffic congestion factors based on accumulated data, new traffic lights, and right / left-turn lanes have been installed to reduce transit time by 15% in some sections
    (Source: Report on-site visits to each country related to the “Super City” concept )

[9] United Arab Emirates smart city case



In 2014, the Dubai government of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) announced: “Smart Dubai 2021” which shows the roadmap to 2021 to make Dubai, the second central city of UAE, a smart city. In Dubai, to aim to be the “smart city in the world”, the entire city is being developed with ICT infrastructure, and the city is being rapidly revitalized by a “smart city” where all information can be used on the Internet regardless of public or private. ..

Promotion of e-government

  • Administrative services can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from mobile terminals such as smartphones, even on holidays and at night.
  • “payment”, “suggest”, “complain”, “AskDubai”, “may”, etc. have already been introduced, and the goal is to make public services completely paperless by 2021.

Introduction of blockchain

  • You can pay goods, various prices, school fees, etc. with virtual currency

Utilization of advanced technology

  • Dubai police introduce flying bikes and police robot corps

The Dubai government is particularly active in leveraging advanced technology. Dubai’s smart mobility strategy is being developed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), a strategy that will automatically drive 25% of Dubai‘s modes of transportation by 2030. Transportation Strategy ” was formulated.
To achieve this, RTA is considering multiple self-driving cars. Among them, the promising candidate for the first and last one-mile self-driving car is the self-driving EV (electric vehicle) bus “pods” manufactured by Next Future Transportation of the United States, which will be tested in Dubai city from 2018. It has started. In addition, the introduction of the “Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT)” service, which is an “air taxi” that uses an automatically flying multicopter (a type of helicopter equipped with multiple rotors), and a tube that has been decompressed to about 100 Pa (Pascal). We are also considering the adoption of a “Hyperloop” in which a vehicle floats in the air and travels at a speed of 1,220 km / h.
In June 2017, the Dubai police announced that they would introduce a drone-equipped self-driving car “O-R3” as a police car.
The automatic driving police car is equipped with a high-definition camera, infrared image device, laser scanner, light detection, and measurement device, etc., and can recognize objects 100 m away, and if a suspect is detected, it will be tracked. If you run away in an alley or a car that a vehicle cannot enter, you can skip the drone and track it further. The Dubai police have a plan to introduce 100 of them by 2020.
The Dubai police have also introduced the robot police “Robocop” from June 2017, and by 2030, among the work of the Dubai police, routine police tasks such as patrols and directions will be replaced with robots and automated driving police cars. It plans to automate 25% of police operations.

[10] Examples of initiatives for smart cities by giant IT companies


Google is promoting the commercialization of smart cities in the United States. Through its subsidiary Sidewalk Labo, Google is in Toronto, Canada, and has begun to create a city that pursues efficiency and comfort by grasping the movements of all kinds of places, people, and things with sensors. The new city in Toronto is named “IDEA”
, an acronym for “Innovative Development and Economic Acceleration .” Underpinning the company’s plans is the basic philosophy of collecting all kinds of data. Sensors are installed in the city, and all the actions of the inhabitants are recorded. It even tracks which bench you sat in the park and how long it took to cross the road. However, this data collection is also the biggest problem in development planning. The company claims that data is indispensable for solving problems such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and noise, and creating a comfortable urban space, but how can private companies collect this amount of data? There are voices of concern from home and abroad about whether to manage it.


“New Retail” is a new concept of retail announced by Alibaba in 2016. New Retail uses technology and data to deliver a better customer experience and at the same time solve the business challenges of retailers through a retail business that combines offline and online. It can be said that the consumer experience is at the center, and the business model between “customers,” “products,” and “stores” is reconstructed to lead the business to grow.
The new retail phenomenon has already become a reality in China, and new supermarkets, unmanned stores, digital convenience stores, etc. have appeared. Alibaba’s new supermarket “Hema Xiansheng” has a mechanism to check the freshness at the supermarket, purchase it with the app, and have it delivered to your home.


In this article, we introduced examples of smart cities overseas. As urbanization progresses around the world, efforts are underway to solve issues such as energy efficiency, alleviation of traffic congestion, and reduction of CO 2 emissions with new technologies.
In addition, many global companies have found new business opportunities for smart cities and are making ambitious efforts. Smart cities are not only a place for solving social issues but also a great opportunity for the development and practical application of advanced technologies.
Keep an eye on new technologies that will be put into practical use with the development of smart cities.

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