“Smart Cities” as a Response to the Health and Quality of Life for Its Inhabitants

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    The rapid growth of cities is a major challenge for countries, mainly in Latin America, where urban areas are developing at an accelerated pace and two-thirds of the population lives in them, and almost 80% of the region`s inhabitants. In this sense, the pandemic situation that society is going through highlights a need to promote connected and Smart City projects.

    A Smart City seeks to interconnect technology as a means to achieve the development of the population and the consolidation of infrastructure, that is, offering quality of life, better services and greater sustainability as the main objectives they seek to pursue.

    In this sense, the cities that have responded best to the decrease in the impacts left by the Coronavirus are not the least populated but the most connected, because thanks to the technological advances it is possible to make better decisions in favor of the inhabitants.

    During the height of the crisis that caused the pandemic, all sectors of the population were affected and found in technology the possibility of maintaining safe facilities, some achieved business continuity thanks to the fact that the tools allowed the critical processes of the companies continuing to operate. On the other hand, hospitals understood the need for smart infrastructures to guarantee safety and medical care for all.

    Social Reintegration

    However, the guiding axis of the challenges left by this situation is social reintegration, and under this scheme, the new paradigm for smart city projects must involve the use of technology to act fast and smart in the face of pandemic risks. A governance model that does not respond to this need will not overcome current challenges, or future ones.

    Faced with this scenario, various technology companies have put on the table a variety of technological resources to promote Smart City projects, which, due to their digital equipment, like real-time cameras, allow the detection in the use of face masks, the maintenance of safe interpersonal distances, the identification of body temperature,controling space capacity, etc.

    This type of technology is part of the security strategies widely used by governments for the prevention of criminal acts, forensic investigations, and is currently one of the standard-bearers in the fight against contagion risks.

    Another technology that has responded efficiently to the demands of Biosafety codes around the world is Biometric Access Control, which has provided the possibility of returning to work activities, reducing contagion in physical working spaces like offices and other facilities where the flow of people is constant.

    These and other tools seek to warn of changes or potentially dangerous situations in real time within a visible area, also allow predictive analysis of risks and act in advance, that is, to a great extent, they facilitate the coordination, prevention and efficient control mechanisms.

    The bet on Smart Cities is that the use of technologies will support urban management, the efficiency of governments, and the quality of life for its inhabitants. The challenge now is to seek the reincorporation of ICTs to reduce COVID-19 infections and its impacts, as well as an efficient response to future crises under a security, resilience, and sustainability scheme.

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