Linaro Learning Hub

Smart Cities

Table of Contents

Smart City

A Smart City solves the challenges of urban living through the deployment of an integrated suite of technologies. Automation, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) are employed to deliver innovative solutions to complex challenges in urban environments.

While IOT and Edge computing are the primary enablers for Smart Cites, a variety of supporting technologies are also required:

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

APIs enable the integration of databases, applications and AI to deliver complex real-time solutions that can provide both background services such as environmental controls and interactive services like smart payments for transit.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI enables services to appear intuitive and respond in real-time to changeable situations such as congestion or climate. Services can be automatically reconfigured and optimised to respond to new situations. Personalised services can be delivered dynamically.

Cloud Computing Services

The Cloud provides the necessary resources for the delivery of centralised services. Edge and FOG devices provide for time and latency-sensitive applications at the periphery.


Machine-to-machine communication, function automation and the application of AI predominate in Smart Cities. Humans are not included in the loop because of the need for real-time and interactive functionality, or because the volume of data flows exceeds human capacity. However, human supervision and instruction remains desirable. Dashboards represent key performance indicators in an easily consumable format permitting humans an insight into system functionality and enable evidence-based intervention if required.

Machine Learning (ML)

Smart Cities are data driven. Vast flows of data are generated, transmitted and processed. ML employs the data to make applications smarter and optimise functionality.

Machine-to-Machine Communication

Machines, in the form of IOT devices like sensors, and complex applications delivered at the periphery or as core services, will constantly interact. The speed and volume of such communication, exceeding human capabilities, lay at the heart of the Smart City.

Mesh Networks

A meshed network is a network where multiple devices form a single network, for instance, a primary aim of 5G is constant connectivity and uninterrupted connectivity irrespective of how the connection is delivered. A meshed Wi-Fi network is one where multiple devices deliver connectivity in contrast to a single router defining a single network. Meshed networks are self-healing, robust and provide multiple pathways for data.

Smart Cities will deliver a complex suite of services including:

  • environmental monitoring, warning and mitigation
  • integrated traffic management and capacity optimisation
  • climate control
  • real-estate monitoring and management
  • personalised service delivery