Smart Cities: Future of Mankind

By: MD T. Chishty

Smart City is a concept that various private organizations and governments use to change and modernize how a city runs to make cities a better place for humanity to live. It consists of information technologies and communication technologies [1-3].

A core aim of a smart city is the use of ICTs to create a sustainable integrated living environment, as represented in figure 1. The focus across each municipal operation, from transportation to utility management services, to emergency management, should be centered on how new technologies can remove inefficiencies and add value. It means that IT should be embedded into the fabric of daily life, leading to a better quality of life for all inhabitants [4-6].

Figure 1: Smart Cities

Present scenario of smart cities

These technologies build an intelligent network to connect all systems to form an extensive procedure. Cloud-based IoT is also used to modernize the things surrounding it. Many things can be improved, like trash disposal, energy distribution, traffic congestion on roads, and air pollution levels. Cities like New York, Paris, Tokyo are continuously developing strategies to change or adapt the existing systems to the developed infrastructure of smart cities. The Indian government has already planned for 100 such smart cities to increase the City’s economic growth. Countries like China also have ongoing numerous Smart City projects that have the potential to increase the City’s financial structure and educate the people and workers of the City since it increases the number and efficiency of the people using smart City technologies. These Smart City projects require much funding as well as technical minds.

The Pros and Cons of smart cities

A smart city is defined as a city that utilizes broadband to connect different service providers and citizens in an effort to improve the quality of life for individuals who live there. The idea is to use the information gathered from the sensors and control systems around the city in order to predict and maximize events such as traffic, energy consumption, pollution levels, and public safety. While this concept has its benefits due to increased efficiency and reduced risk factors, many critics say that creating a controlled environment could be detrimental to the population members’ ability to think critically and make uniquely informed decisions on what they want for themselves [7].

How to make a city smarter?

As you can probably ascertain from the blog title, cities will be smarter as time goes on. But how do we make them as such? One of the first steps is to eliminate as much as possible by-products that we consider waste. For example, rain that falls on the roofs of buildings and runs into storm drains after cleaning metals and chemicals from our urban environments. Another step is to use sensors and network technology like wi-fi and desalination plants and even smart cars and public transportation systems.

Technology used in smart cities

Smart Cities are based on the idea that technology can improve the quality of life for everyone. Networks like smart grids, transportation systems, emergency services, communications, and more will all work together to make cities more accessible and livable for all residents. The possibilities are endless with this area of development!

Objectives of smart cities

There are various objectives of a smart city; some of them are the efficiency of services, sustainability, mobility, safety and security, economic growth, city reputation. When we talk about securities in smart cities, there are a number of potential threats and vulnerabilities. These threats include man-in-the-middle attack, data, and identity theft, device hijacking, distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) [8], permanent denial of service attack (PDoS).

In privacy data and identity theft, there are countermeasures like authentication encryption, and access control. There are countermeasures like device identification and access control, and security Lifecycle Management for threats like device hijacking. There are countermeasures like authentication, encryption, access control, application-level DDoS protection, security monitoring, and analysis for threats like permanent denial of service attack(PDoS). There are countermeasures like device identification and access control, security monitoring, and analysis for threats like DDoS attacks. For threats like man-in-the-middle, countermeasures are authentication and encryption, security lifecycle management.

An example of a control system being attacked by hackers is the control system of a train. If a train’s control system is hacked into, the hacker can drive the train and cause a railroad accident, which is a massive security problem.

Multi-layered protection and authentication: Working in security by configuration can guarantee that a brilliant city network is best positioned to withstand any endeavored break or digital assault. Guaranteeing that the general organization and every gadget in that, or possibly the ones possessed and constrained by the position, send a complex security framework can make it a seriously overwhelming and less engaging hack task for any future gatecrashers. However, secure, multifaceted verification can essentially be an obstruction and is a general enhancement for fundamental one-venture network logins

Regular updates: The issue with numerous current IoT networks is that updates are a manual undertaking, and normally, numerous clients neglect to run said refreshes. This can prompt basic openings and issues inside the organization that make way for digital assaults. In a huge city-wide IoT network, it would clearly be difficult to physically refresh every gadget. Working in auto-updates would guarantee that every gadget screens its own well being and auto-introduce any security patches or new programming from approved, confided-in designers.

Smart cities statistics

  • According to Grand View Research, the worldwide market for smart cities would be valued $676.01 billion by 2028. The report grounds its projections on the notion that “demand for smart cities is expected to rise largely as a result of reasons such as urbanisation, the increasing need to manage scarce natural resources effectively, and environmental sustainability.”
  • NIST SCCF is a good framework that shows best practices for development of smart cities, starting from planning to providing its security.
  • United states provides 26% of the total smart city initiatives.
  • China has deployed 800 smart city programs all over the country.
  • According to ABI, there will be 1.3 billion WAN connections by 2024. For an investment in Cyber security, that value will become 135 billion dollars every year

Challenges faced by smart cities

  • Updating and maintenance is an issue for most cities which makes systems insecure.
  • Network protocols are still vulnerable; an attack on network protocols is very easy.

Work needed to be done

  • Encrypted data: Information should be encoded uniformly. Encryption is a technique for encrypting data in such a way that it is useless and unintelligible to anybody except those who possess an encryption key that can decrypt it. Two-factor verification should also be used with the encryption key. Due to the fact that the smart city foundation handles very sensitive data, encryption should be used as a matter of course. As a result, if programmers get near enough to sensitive data, they will be unable to use it.
  • Constant security monitoring: Security auditing needs a dedicated group capable of monitoring traffic and looking for irregularities. This may be automated using security software that can sift through large amounts of data and look for indicators of giving and take. After identifying possible risk zones, they may be disconnected, preventing any information leaks.
  • Support platform: Any new assistance stage should have the capability to secure a broad range of connected situations and devices. Given that smart cities are made up of several businesses, SaaS, IaaS, and cloud environments, a unified security architecture should be implemented to assure the security of all components of a linked city.


The advancement of shrewd urban areas can possibly bring benefits for organizations, city administrations, and individuals. However, the security of the hidden computerized foundation is critical to progress. Associations and gadget producers should take on arising guidelines and direction to guarantee frameworks are ‘secure by plan’ and perform testing prior and then afterward establishment to address any imperfections. Besides, administrators of dynamic, brilliant city innovation should look to comprehend the security issues confronting their shrewd surroundings and frameworks in case they are to relieve the dangers before episodes happen. Urban areas of tomorrow will without a doubt be more brilliant as the years continue however, getting IoT security right will be the distinction between a shrewd city and a safe city.


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  2. Xie, J., Tang, H., Huang, T., Yu, F. R., Xie, R., Liu, J., & Liu, Y. (2019). A survey of blockchain technology applied to smart cities: Research issues and challengesIEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials21(3), 2794-2830.
  3. Dowlatshahi, M. B., Rafsanjani, M. K., et al. (2021). An energy aware grouping memetic algorithm to schedule the sensing activity in WSNs-based IoT for smart citiesApplied Soft Computing108, 107473.
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  6. Batty, M., Axhausen, K. W., Giannotti, F., Pozdnoukhov, A., Bazzani, A., Wachowicz, M., … & Portugali, Y. (2012). Smart cities of the futureThe European Physical Journal Special Topics214(1), 481-518.
  7. Chourabi, H., Nam, T., Walker, S., Gil-Garcia, J. R., Mellouli, S., Nahon, K., … & Scholl, H. J. (2012, January). Understanding smart cities: An integrative framework. In 2012 45th Hawaii international conference on system sciences (pp. 2289-2297). IEEE.
  8. A. Dahiya, B. Gupta (2021) How IoT is Making DDoS Attacks More Dangerous?, Insights2Techinfo, pp.1

Cite this article as:

MD T. Chishty (2021) Smart Cities: Future of Mankind, Insights2Techinfo, pp.1

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