Promoting Equality Between Citizens of Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds

Illustration: © IoT for everyone

What is smart city technology?

As cities grow steadily, we may ask ourselves, how can we improve the quality of life of our citizens? According to the Deloitte Connectivity & Mobile Trends 2021 survey, the average number of devices connected in a family is 25. This means that each family can produce a significant amount of data that the city can use to make important decisions. But how exactly will this work? To better understand, we need to introduce the term: smart urban technology.

Smart city technology emerges when cities use technology to develop and promote sustainable methods to address the challenges that arise with urbanization. Smart city technology requires cities to have more IoT devices to send and receive data. These devices can range from smartphones, laptops, motion sensors and more. Once these devices connect to the Internet, the data can be shared with important city officials. It is beginning to cultivate an environment where the equality of a smart city is possible. It can then help the right people make smart decisions to increase efficiency, stimulate economic growth and increase the livelihoods of city dwellers.

Promoting equality between citizens with different socio-economic backgrounds is one of the most important tasks facing the city authorities. Moreover, this topic is difficult to address, as it includes various issues that contribute to inequality among citizens. Let’s look at three equality issues and three solutions that highlight smart city technology.

Security and safety

Issue

There is a clear difference in crime rates between districts. Citizens from the lower socio-economic class tend to live in areas with high crime rates. Because of the social divide between residents, robbers are more likely to attack poor neighborhoods than wealthy ones.

The solution

While technology will not be able to completely rid the city of crime, technology can be a powerful tool for law enforcement in detecting and preventing crime. By using machine learning that processes data collected from IoT devices such as home security systems and street surveillance cameras, we can predict crime points and populate these areas with more law enforcement. As long as the city has the data, we can provide the support needed to create a stable environment for disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Transport

Issue

The importance of having any mode of transport is that it gives users access to work, health and food. Unfortunately, many citizens of the lower socio-economic class do not have personal cars. The city has to help residents with trips from one place to another on different modes of transport.

The solution

The inclusion of technological modes of transport can help reduce the gap between citizens of different socio-economic classes. Some examples of smart city technology that can be included to solve this problem will be the following:

  • Ride promotions
  • Smart city buses
  • Electric scooters
  • Bicycles

These smart city technologies allow citizens to travel further around the city, opening up opportunities for economic growth. We see this happening when city buses connect via IoT devices. Users will be able to access live bus tracking data to reasonably predict when their bus will arrive, and will be able to determine if they need to use a different route. If users do not feel comfortable with riding services or public transportation, other options for electric scooters or bicycles are becoming increasingly popular. All of these modes of transport are excellent resources for users with lower socio-economic levels who may not own vehicles as this gives them access to more jobs.

Health

Issue

Many reports show that residents ’socioeconomic status affects their health. Residents with lower socioeconomic status tend to have shorter life expectancies, are more prone to disease, and have less access to health care than people with higher socioeconomic status.

The solution

By addressing health issues, the city can help improve equality. This can be done in several specific ways.

  • Telehealth options may be more affordable for those in lower socioeconomic areas who cannot take a weekend off. Telehealth allows people to set up consultants with healthcare professionals in the comfort of their own home, at their own time.
  • IoT cold chain management solutions can be presented to help control and maintain the temperature set by companies, and to warn users to ensure that essential medical items, such as vaccines, do not go in vain.

Especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important for city dwellers to get vaccinated. There are many factors that affect residents ’access to vaccines. Residents living in lower socio-economic areas tend to have more difficult times with access to vaccines compared to someone from higher socio-economic areas. Delivering these vaccines to areas with higher needs is critical to the overall health of the city. Thanks to smart city technology, we can provide a healthier living environment and improve the livelihoods of residents.

Smart city technology: growing with cities

As cities continue to grow, so does the IoT technology that goes with them. Smart city technology aims to make the city more accessible to all residents. This creates an opportunity for a better analysis of how we can be more efficient, stimulate economic growth and improve the overall well-being of citizens. Through the introduction of smart city technology, we can begin to reduce inequalities between different socio-economic areas.

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