How smart cities are transforming cities

Concrete examples of benefits of smart cities are smart parking or lighting, air quality measurements or better waste management.

smart city
Communication Team


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Smart cities offer, through millions of connected IoT devices and solutions, the useful and efficient management of data that through combining different technologies can manage different issues such as energy, lighting, transport and mobility or waste.

4 examples of how smart cities transform cities

Some concrete examples of how smart cities can help in the transformation of cities are smart parking and lighting, waste management or air quality monitoring.

Smart parking

As one of the focuses of smart cities is to improve mobility, smart car parks can help to make private transport journeys smoother.

Not only urban areas as such can benefit from these developments, but also service areas (such as hospitals, airports or shopping centres) have the advantages of knowing relevant information.

In addition, indirectly, the data collected by these car parks can also provide useful information about the city as a whole and thus improve various issues such as infrastructure and services.

The advantages of this type of car park can be summarised as reducing traffic congestion, reducing parking search times (and the associated stress), improving travel planning (with public transport appearing as an alternative) and reducing levels of pollutant gas emissions.

Waste management

The Internet of Things provides real-time information on the status of waste collection containers, which allows for accurate collection planning.

In this way, it is known which ones are full and, in addition, time and fuel can be saved in the collection vehicles.

It also facilitates the removal of possible accumulations of waste on the streets and increases the availability of citizens to report incidents. Recycling levels can also be more accurately adjusted.

Air quality

Controlling the quality of life in urban environments by moderating different types of pollution (whether air, light or noise) is a priority for local authorities. Monitoring different parameters is therefore essential in order to be able to act according to what is being recorded.

Air monitoring measures, in addition to complying with the respective regulations that usually exist, also serve to improve energy efficiency and also to increase transparency for citizens by providing real-time information on a particularly sensitive issue.

In addition, having real-time pollution information makes it easier to make decisions that may be necessary based on the stored data.

Smart lighting

Having intelligent lighting has a two-fold effect: on the one hand, it improves energy efficiency and, on the other, it reduces light pollution.

Santiago de Compostela is an example of this, thanks to Telefónica Tech.

Santiago de Compostela: smart lighting success story

The Galician capital is an example of a smart lighting success story, with a solution that involved the installation of more than 10,000 nodes with NB-IoT connectivity in the city’s luminaires, thus collecting data on their operation.

By sending this information to a central platform for analysis and advanced management, improvements in energy savings and efficiency in public lighting have been achieved, generating environmental and economic benefits.

The main points on which the Santiago de Compostela success story is based are:

  • Increased citizen satisfaction. By detecting incidents in advance, maintenance is optimised, which results in greater satisfaction among the city’s inhabitants.
  • Energy efficiency. By adjusting the programming of the switching on and off times of the lights, both economic and energy savings are generated.
  • Efficient control. Thanks to an intelligent system that simplifies control and maintenance, the control platform makes it possible to remotely manage the lights, switching them on or off as required, supervising and regulating the lighting in an optimal way.
  • Optimised maintenance. In addition to consumption monitoring, faults can be precisely located and repairs can be accelerated without having to be carried out at the same time.

Conclusion: What do smart cities achieve?

As we have seen throughout this article, smart cities offer a number of advantages when it comes to making cities more accessible and more profitable:

  • Better distribution of resources.
  • Inclusion of both citizens and visitors.
  • Smart mobility with greater efficiency in both public and private transport.
  • Higher level of sustainability.


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