One of the biggest issues currently facing the housing sector is how to keep up with, and best utilise, new technologies. We previously looked at some of the latest urban technology trends changing the way that people interact with the environments they live and work in. As smart tech becomes increasingly prevalent in other areas of life, we take a look at how it is being integrated into new developments to transform urban areas into ‘smart cities’.
How does smart technology work?
Smart technology is designed to have many benefits, not least, to make people’s day-to-day lives easier. Big data, IoT and AI, can work together to learn about human behaviour and make automatic adjustments based on this information, by communicating with each other over a wireless internet network. There are already ‘smart homes’, which collect data about how residents use their houses to make them more efficient, and ’smart cars’ that interact with connected infrastructure, such as roads and traffic lights to control driving functions.
Saving the planet
As we mentioned in a recent blog, sustainability is a big consideration currently for developers, with the government having imposed a number of targets for reducing carbon emissions in homes by 2025. Smart technology inside and outside the home, such as switches that learn your routines and only turn on your lights and heating when you need them, can help reduce carbon emissions. They are also beneficial to the residents, as they can help save on the day-to-day running costs of a property.
With the popularity of smart homes and cars on the rise, it follows that ‘smart cites’ will be next. This will be a new consideration for developers when it comes to the design and build of new developments, particularly, in urban environments. Technology will need to be integrated into homes and elements of the external environment – such as parking areas, streetlights, and even rubbish bins. The data collected will help inform adjustments that can help things run more smoothly, creating a better quality of life for residents and workers.
Preparing for the future
There have already been signs of movements towards smart cities popping up across Europe. In Amsterdam, for example, an IoT infrastructure is being tested to monitor and adjust public safety, energy usage and traffic flow in real time. Meanwhile in Barcelona, a high-speed Wi-Fi network installed across the city to support smart water, lighting and parking management systems has already saved the city millions of pounds.
Closer to home, the government already have plans in place to integrate smart technology into future development, to gather big data that will help them improve processes and make better decisions about the country’s infrastructure. The move towards implementing this on a country-wide scale means that developers have the opportunity to get ahead of the game by using smart technology to future-proof their developments now.
Regent Land & Developments is a specialist developer of brownfield sites for residential and mixed-use land-led schemes across London and the South East. Find out more about what we do.