What is a Smart City?

Digi.City's Definition 

Smart Cities use connected technology and data to (1) improve the efficiency of city service delivery (2) enhance quality of life for all (3) increase equity and prosperity for residents and businesses.

Other Definitions:

  • A smart city is a developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government. - Business Dictionary

  • A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. -Wikipedia

  • A smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare. - IoT World

  • "A broad, integrated approach to improving the efficiency of city operations, the quality of life for its citizens, and growing the local economy." - Boyd Cohen, What Exactly Is A Smart City, Fast Co.Exist

  • "I view a smart city as a resilient city — one that is technologically enabled, connected and agile to address 21st-century environmental, social and economic challenges." - Mike O’Leary , Cities of the future: the importance of making the Twin Cities smart

  • "Smart City technologies have two different features. One is optimization, such as using road infrastructure better, via self-driving cars, and efficiency. The other aspect is being more social. How can we come together to use the city better and waste less?" - Carlo Ratti interviewed in The Future of Smart City Technology, From an MIT Professor, Curbed

  • "Hundreds of aging cities have embraced digital technology, but few are moving as quickly as New York to link municipal computer networks, develop novel applications, make digital data public or install so many thousands of sensors to monitor urban life—from water quality, traffic and power use, to the sound of gunfire." - Robert Lee Hotz, As The World Crowds In, Cities Become Digital Laboratories, Wall Street Journal

  • "Until recently, smart city solutions often seemed more like “slideware” than real services to improve the quality of life of citizens and the productivity of urban businesses. But the falling cost of connectivity and computing power is finally enabling municipalities to deploy innovative solutions that promise to tackle some of the thorny challenges they face." - Dave Pringle, Five Very Smart Cities, Industrial IoT 5G

  • "A Smart City is an urban development that unites the needs of the citizens in a sustainable and secure way. All buildings, cars and machines are connected, constantly transmitting data to improve and develop the city. Road monitors can report real-time traffic to cars, easing traffic and reducing the risk of road collisions, for example, and Smart Cities have also developed e-learning education and 24/7 healthcare, providing modern services to all inhabitants.

  • Alongside this, Smart City technology can monitor the pollution and chemical levels in the air and water supply, reducing the risk of both air and water contamination. Smart energy sources are also implemented, to ensure the city is developing and continuing its sustainability. These innovations, alongside countless others, mean Smart Cities can enormously improve the standard of living for the citizens and sustain the environment long term... - Jarosław Czaja, How to Build a Smart City, IT ProPortal


  • "Here is a brief explanation of how 5G will be used and what it will mean for your online experience — and your everyday life." - "5G What's It Good For?" Washington Post

  • "5G will enable industries to improve our daily lives. With 5G, autonomous vehicles will be able to make decisions in milliseconds to keep drivers and vehicles safe. Drones will aid in disaster recovery efforts, providing real-time data for emergency responders. Smart cities will monitor air and water quality through millions of sensors, giving them insights needed to provide a better quality of life." - Intel Corporate Vice President Aicha Evans

  • "5G simply stands for fifth generation and refers to the next and newest mobile wireless standard...." - Christina Mercer and Kodjo Ansah, "What is 5G? How does 5G work? What is 5G used for? 5G vs 4G vs 3G" TechWorld

  • "The evolution from LTE to 5G will be the most profound development on the wireless industry since the transition from analog to digital. This transformation will bring about several new ways of designing networks so that the promise of always-on, high-bandwidth, low latency, massive networks can become reality..." - InterDigital

  • "5G is about enabling new services and devices, connecting new industries and empowering new user experiences. This will entail connecting people and things across a diverse set of scenarios." - 5G Technology Evolution Recommendations

  • "The primary goal with 5G is to make it feel like the end user is always connected, regardless of whether or not you're inside or outside, near a window or buried in a basement. Part of the reason we'll need such strong connectivity is because 5G will be about powering much more than just smartphones — it'll be designed to connect smart watches, fitness bands, and smart household gadgets like the Nest Learning Thermostat among others." - Lisa Eadicicco, "If You Think 5G Is All About Faster Network Speeds, You're Wrong" Business Insider

  • "It’s about low cost data, not just about faster data.... the primary thrust of 5G is not about faster data to your phone. Instead... 5G is a step in terms of the business model for wireless." - Joe Madden, "5G is not really about faster data" Industrial IoT 5G


  • Download ReadWrite Labs IoT Industry Overview

  • Check out Mary Meeker's Internet of Things Report featured in Tech Crunch

  • "...the Internet of Things, or IoT, is a series of devices connected by the internet that use installed sensors and processors to communicate with either each other or us. They collect and share data and information. Those devices then use that info to complete tasks, analyze figures, create efficiencies, or report on any other number of data points. Honestly, there is no limit to what items can be made to be part of the IoT." - Anna Kucirkova, Perforated Metals

  • "Simply put this is basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other.) - Jacob Morgan, A Simple Explanation for the Internet of Things, - Forbes

  • "A network of networks uniquely identifiable endpoint or "Things" that communication without human interaction using IP Connectivity." - IDC

  • "In the next 10 years, the Internet of Things revolution will dramatically alter manufacturing, energy, agriculture, transportation and other industrial sectors of the economy which, together, account for nearly two-thirds of the global gross domestic product (GDP). It will also fundamentally transform how people will work through new interactions between humans and machines." - Industrial Internet of Things, Unleashing the Potential of Connected Products and Services, World Economic Forum

  • "In the future, wireless access will go beyond humans and expand to serve any entity that may benefit from being connected. This vision often is referred to as the “Internet of Things (IoT)”, “Networked Society,” “Machine-to-Machine communications (M2M)” or “machine-centric communications.” - - 5G Technology Solutions Recommendations

  • "We think this is going to grow to 50 billion devices and trillions of dollars of economic impact. It will change the way we live and work. As we go out talking, we see more companies investing in it." - Doug Davis, Senior VP of Internet of Things, Intel "Despite Cutbacks, Intel is Doubling Down on Internet of Things"