Software Development for Smart Cities

Smart Moves

The idea of developing smart cities has been floating around since the 60’s and 70’s. Back then, the United States Community Analysis Bureau began to use databases, cluster analysis, and aerial photography in city planning, disaster preparation, and poverty elimination. It could be argued that this data-centric approach resulted in the first generation of smart cities.

Modern predictions indicate continued global population growth, particularly in urban areas. With this growth comes the associated demand for the sustainable management of economic, environmental, and social resources. Going forward, advanced software and apps will continue to play ever-increasing roles in the planning and development of sustainable smart cities.

Urbanization Trends and Key Smart City Statistics

As the globe experiences a relentless march towards urbanization, smart cities must rely upon a combination of government programs and cutting-edge software solutions. Here are some key statistics and trends indicating their long-term growth, and by extension, increased demand for smart city software:


IoT and Smart Cities

All of these statistics indicate massive long-term growth of urban areas and therefore hugely increased demand for advanced smart city software and apps. Experienced software developers will be needed to create apps that bolster smart cities in a number of areas, including: crime reduction and public safety, improved commute times and traffic patterns, better overall health for residents, and a more clean, sustainable living environment. Each of these areas presents countless opportunities for software to improve and optimize nearly every facet of urban residents’ lives.


Capturing New Revenue Streams

It is estimated that expenditure on smart city capabilities will top $2.5 trillion in the coming years. This presents many lucrative and alluring opportunities for development firms to cash in on. By developing smart IoT infrastructure, it is possible to create solutions that not only reduce costs, but also lead to the discovery of new revenue streams. Smart cities enable local communities to create a secure, open ecosystem with easy onboarding of trusted partner service providers.


Simplification and Automation

A complete smart city solution ensures that data is both secure, yet also widely accessible through a common platform. This reduces overall complexity while still allowing control of critical functions when adapting to new operational models. It also improves visibility by automating a number of manual processes. A fully-featured approach to smart cities will have numerous capabilities, including:

  • Machine Learning- AI and machine learning can be embedded in smart systems to process and correlate data from multiple sources. It can then leverage this data to automate decision-making for optimized outcomes.
  • Visual Analytics- Quickly analyze factors that directly impact resident quality of life as well as long-term city development and sustainability. Easily identify areas of strategic importance while gaining insights for key events and their optimal response.
  • Predictive Analytics- Smart cities can leverage the power of automated advanced analytics to monitor data sources, predict errors and disruptions before they even occur, and provide a rapid response by automatically alerting appropriate parties.
  • Open Data Platform with Enhanced Security- An open platform encourages resident engagement by providing researchers and developers direct access to datasets that could provide deep insights.
  • Real-Time 360˚ Views- The continuous collection and monitoring of IoT data, the identification of disruptive issues, and establishing of automated responses in the event of critical issues.
  • Automation- Automated and agile analytics makes it simple to identify, understand, and track a number of key metrics. This ensures any response to critical errors will be delivered faster and with greater precision.



As our vision for smart cities of the future continues to unfold, software development will play an increasingly important role in ensuring they will be powered by a secure, seamless platform. Developers will need to take a measured approach to delivering comprehensive solutions for not only government entities, but also small businesses, and major corporations. As new innovations and products continue to enter the market with each passing day, software developers will be relied upon to deliver the cohesive experience that is essential to making the city function as intended. Developers just need to make sure they are leveraging the proper tools as they build cities of the future.

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