Jean Lievens: Smart Cities Are Not Smart If They Just Connect to the Internet

#OSE Open Source Everything
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

Connecting everyone to the internet won’t solve the world’s development problems

According to a new report from the World Bank, more than 40% of the global population now has internet access. On average, eight in ten people in the developing world own a mobile phone. Even in the poorest 20% of households this number is nearly seven in ten, making cellphones more prevalent than toilets or clean water.

In my privileged home, digital technology brings me choice and convenience. It will be a long time before the digital revolution brings similar returns for everyone, everywhere.

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Phi Beta Iota: This excellent article also includes some very useful graphics. Full read recommended! It does not go where were expected, to wit, that connecting to the Internet is not enough to define a Smart City. For a city to be deeply Smart, in our view, it must integrate holistic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering. The point is not to add Internet connectivity to legacy systems including transport, housing, governance, and health, but rather to totally re-design those systems so as to eliminate the 50% waste that is inherent in every industrial domain from agriculture to energy to health to housing to governance to security to water and more.

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