Thursday, July 14, 2011

The city we could have

Is it possible to have safer cities? Cities which are easier to transit, cleaner, more competitive, in a greater balance with the environment? We are convinced it is. These days we have a wealth of knowledge which, if used in a planned and careful way, could significantly improve the quality of life for the inhabitants of any city. For us, there is no doubt about it.

You surely have seen, either on our website or the intranet, that Smartmatic is riding the wave of Smart Cities. We want to invest in this concept and we are already doing it. We know how to work with governments, especially with those from developing countries, where these developments are most needed. We also have great knowledge of advanced processes and technologies. So, if we combine these two elements, together with our capability to understand the local and particular circumstances of every place where we work, we can create sustainable solutions to local problems. This places us in a very privileged position.

Our base hypothesis is that by applying urban planning and design methodologies together with the deployment of innovative technologies, we can optimize the way a city operates and have a significant, positive impact on coexistence, mobility and ecology.
  • What would happen if every inhabitant of a city could exert a direct influence on the decisions and priorities of local governments? What if everything were so transparent that any of us could have visibility or even be able to audit the projects being executed, especially those in our neighborhood? 
  • Many of us spend a large part of our day stuck in traffic jams. What effect would fluid traffic have on a city's productivity and our quality of life? Would it be possible to create adaptable traffic control systems which could optimize both the private and public mobility of a city in real time? 
  • Every day security agencies face rising crime rates and budget constraints. Could an intelligent remote surveillance platform extend the reach and impact of our security forces? What if we could foresee the occurrence of natural disasters and their impact on our cities? How many lives could we then save? What would that be worth to us?
  • How much time would we save if many of the time-consuming errands we do today manually were instead automated through the Internet?
  • These days our cities are plagued by refuse. We are literally swimming in it. How do we get rid of it? Moreover, is there a way to profit from all the garbage we produce? What if we could produce electricity or drinkable water from it?
  • Much of the energy we generate today is wasted. How could technology help us optimize the distribution of the energy we generate?
How different would our environment be if we could do all of these things? We ask ourselves these previous questions each day, and we have many answers already. We have begun to apply many of them as a mix of technological innovation, business vision and local knowledge. Our goal is to apply innovative technologies within business models that allow for the long-term sustainability of these initiatives, while adapting it all to local circumstances. We are certain that we will be successful.

I invite you all to share with us this new Smartmatic experience.
Paul Babic

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