A Path Forward for Smart Cities and IoT Devices


Global urbanization projections suggest that a great majority of human beings will be living in urban areas by the middle of this century. This trend imposes significant strains on urban infrastructure systems and adds additional challenges to achieving environmental, social and economic sustainability goals set by many city governments. Smart city products and services, backed by IoT systems, have been proposed as effective solutions to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve services. However, as with any technology, IoT solutions for smart cities bring about great opportunities and, at the same time, threats to, among others, governance, security, privacy and community autonomy. As we accumulate experience with these smart city deployments, we must ask ourselves: What would we later regret not regulating now? What good opportunities might certain types of regulation hold back and how can this be mitigated? We offer our perspective on these questions and argue in favor of human-centered IoT systems that are owned, operated and managed much in the same way that other public urban infrastructure systems (e.g., wastewater) are.

IEEE Internet of Things Magazine
Mario Bergés
Mario Bergés
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

My research interests vary, but generally gravitate towards the development of technologies to make our built enviornment and the communities in them more autonomous and efficient. Lately I am interested in developing responsible autonomous solutions for infrastructure systems.