What are Smart Cities and How Can Digital Kiosks Help Shape Them?

4 Feb 2021

Smart cities have been something of a buzzword in recent years, but what are they, and how can we work towards shaping the cities of the future?


How we interact with the cities we live in has a huge impact on our lives and with the majority of people now living in urbanised areas, the idea of smart cities has never been more important. Luckily, technology is here to help, and digital kiosks can play a big part in this. 

What are Smart Cities?


Smart cities might be a term we’ve all heard of, but everyone seems to have a slightly different perspective of what it means. Some people focus on a city that works for its citizens, others on environmental concerns and others on technology. 


Essentially, a smart city looks to overcome the challenges modern city living presents and to do this, it’s going to need to leverage technology in intelligent ways. 


As Cisco puts it:


“scalable solutions that take advantage of information and communications technology (ICT) to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and enhance quality of life.”




In simple terms, they’re cities that use modern technology to work better for their citizens, businesses, and the planet. With urbanization continuing to occur around the globe, smart cities are going to become more and more important in taking the strain off the environment and providing a space where people can thrive. 


Goals of Smart Cities


There are lots of intricate goals smart cities will look to achieve, but they generally boil down to three distinct categories:


  • Offering a better quality of life for residents and visitors. 
  • Allowing businesses to prosper and grow the job market, further attracting talented people.
  • Being actively conscious of its environmental impact and taking responsibility for making change.


Of course, any city roughly intends to achieve these goals, but with smart cities, there’s a coordinated focus that makes the most of technology to power change. For example, a Meridian client, a major city with a fantastic collection of outdoor public spaces came to us to find out how they could reduce crime and make those spaces safer for its citizens. 


This is where smart cities thrive, by not just accepting problems, but actively looking for innovative ways to solve them. 


How Do Digital Kiosks Fit In?


Digital kiosks throughout highstreets, in parks, and at major attractions can help smart cities reach many of their goals. 


The primary benefit of self-service digital kiosks is the ability to effectively share information. For example, Wayfinding allows people to efficiently navigate the city, and if there is an emergency incident, kiosks can directly link people to the correct services.


However, the opportunities of digital kiosks are unlimited, because there’s no limit to the type of software you integrate with them. 


They allow businesses to interact with citizens to create a more harmonious connection, and they can help the city express the values it’s built on, encouraging people to think about their environmental impact. 


Simply, they’re a way for the city to interact with the people, and this is one of the most important aspects of a smart city. 

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