In a nutshell, smart cities use integrated sensor-based technology, powered by data analytics, to make urban life better for people and the planet. Among other things, this means making cities cleaner, more efficient, and generally “greener."
Take transport. In the old-model city, a metro train operating on a rigid schedule might run almost completely empty of passengers during off-hours. In doing so, it would generate essentially the same emissions that it did in moving huge crowds at rush hour.
In the smart city, in contrast, people-counting sensors located throughout the metro system can collect masses of passenger-usage data. Interpreted by data analytics applications, this data can inform train scheduling and routing, so that trains are dispatched only in response to actual need. Trains could even be automatically diverted in real time and sent to where they're needed at the moment—to meet a sudden surge in demand, for instance. Such deployment precision would save energy.
Up on ground level, bus, light rail, and tram lines will benefit from IoT tech in much the same way. The better service resulting from the effective use of IoT technology may also coax drivers out of their cars, helping to reduce one of the single largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.