While many smart cities are using IoT for transportation issues, there’s a host of other initiatives these urban centers should start to address with the technology. Environmental and sustainability programs top a new list from Gartner.
In October, when a large-scale cyberattack disrupted popular websites such as Twitter and Netflix, security problems with the internet of things (IoT) were in the spotlight. Are baby monitors and LED lights the next sources of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against critical infrastructure?
But all is not doom and gloom when it comes to IoT technology. There is an upside and much promise.
At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona, the firm’s analysts propose that smart cities start looking beyond what IoT is currently being used for — mainly transportation and congestion issues — and begin thinking about a whole new realm of possibilities for the technology, especially around environmental, climate change, and sustainability issues.
With Europe as the backdrop, the Gartner analysts focused on the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21, which was held in Paris last year and led to a new agreement to curb greenhouse gases around the world.
The agreement, coupled with other continental initiatives such as Horizon 2020 (a research development program sponsored by the European Union), will put a new burden on countries, as well as cities, to meet these goals, especially around emissions.
This is where IoT comes in.
“With the Horizon 2020 goals of energy efficiency, carbon emission reductions and renewable energy in mind, many cities in Europe have launched energy sustainability, resource management, social inclusion and community prosperity initiatives,” Bettina Tratz-Ryan, a research vice president at Gartner, told the audience, according to a Nov. 8 statement. The show runs from Nov. 6 to Nov. 10.
To that point, Gartner has predicted that many smart cities will start changing their key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to meet these goals.