Smart City – A Post-Pandemic Scenario

What is a Smart City?

From definitional standpoint,  a Smart City utilizes information – communication technology (ICT) to engage citizens for improving quality of life of citizens, to deliver improved city services through intelligent, interconnected technologies and to enhance urban infrastructure and systems driving the growth.

Objectives of Smart City 

  • Society – Improve Quality of Life
  • City Management/e-Governance – Improve transparency and accountability
  • City Economy – Business creation/development, job creation, capable workforce development
  • Legal – Regulatory and Environmental policies, procedures and compliances
  • Technology – Technology is an important driver for building Smart City. 
  • Sustainability – Social and economic growth without jeopardizing the environment

Sample Smart City Use Cases

  • Smart Parking
  • Smart Traffic Management
  • Smart Street Light Management
  • Smart Grid
  • Smart Safety Management and Smart Crime Prevention
  • Smart Climate Management
  • Smart Building
  • Smart Road/Street Maintenance/Repair

Technologies behind Smart City

  • Internet of Thing – Most Important
  • Data and Data-driven Decision-making
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Cloud Computing 
  • Blockchain and Smart Contracts
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Cyber Security
  • Machine Learning/Deep Learning/Reinforcement Learning

Challenges of Smart City

  • Transparency – Open Data with data sharing can help 
  • Security – Individual security,  threat to critical infrastructure, security concerns with IoT devices, banking and Finance security
  • Connectivity through Internet – IoT Devices

Impacts of Covid-19 on the Cities

“The pandemic has created a particularly hard fiscal shock for cities that is sometimes characterized as the “scissors effect.” On the one hand, cities are incurring increases in expenditure to respond to the crisis, while on the other hand the pandemic has radically hit the tax base, denying the city key sources of revenue.”

  • Hit Refresh – Transformative impact of pandemic. Every city is planning to think afresh.
  • Inequality and Discrimination – Pandemic exposed the deep-rooted inequality and discrimination of cities. Healthcare for all, Housing and Basic Services for all, Basic livelihood/income for all – these are the priorities in post-Covid cities.
  • Huge budget allocated for fighting Covid-19 responding to the health, social and economic hardships of the pandemic. All other projects got reprioritized including Smart City projects. 
  • Deployment of Smart Digital Technologies have been huge problem for the City Administrator for concerns of Privacy with Data Protection and Sharing.
  • Cyber and Data Security is a very important technology for Post-Pandemic City life.
  • Residents got hugely concerned about pervasive Public Surveillance and their Privacy..
  • Need for technology platforms supporting Multilateralism for Intergovernmental Data Exchanges for decision-making.
  • Need for Digital Inclusion – No more Digital Divide.
  • Inclusive Growth – Jobs for historically marginalized populations
  • Green Transition – Investments in infrastructure can save energy, reduce methane emissions and enable low-carbon mobility 
  • Bring back people to the City – Working Remote is not an option all sorts of jobs. It is mainly limited to highly skilled workers. Notwithstanding City living conditions should be revamped to lure the high net worth people to the city again. 

What Technology can do to revitalize Cities

  • Focus on Public Safety using emerging technologies.
  • Crime Prevention using Citizen data and AI
  • Smart Transportation – Traffic Management is important following the requirement of pandemic or any crisis. Many cities utilized anonymized cell phone data for tracking human movement.
  • City’s healthcare can be changed through E-Health with Internet of Medical Things and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies.
  • Drug and Vaccine discovery. Please check How Computer Technology Helps Vaccine Development.
  • Patient data driven health management needs the attention of the local government.
  • Smart Hospital – Smart Inventory management of PPE and other medical devices, contactless diagnosis and treatment, Decision making using IoMT and AR.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring –  Important for pandemic like Covid-19.
  • Smart Testing Booth – IoMT based
  • Smart Sanitize using UV at the garage.
  • Autonomous Testing Vehicle
  • Sustainability – Climate Smart growth. Pollution management using Computer Vision/Artificial Intelligence technologies.

Image Refernce –


  • Public-Private Collaboration is the way to go.
  • Eliminating Poverty and accelerating Growth enabling Inclusivity and Citizen Empowerment is a top priority for the near future.
  • Continued Revenue Generation for City to fund the critical projects exploring Business Creation in Innovation and Emerging fields.