Smart Cities and Their Digital Assets

What is the development benefit of the smart city for the city in the future? This is a problem worthy of attention to the prospect of the technology system.

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Generally speaking, smart city refers to the integration of urban constituent systems and services with various information technologies or innovative ideas to enhance the efficiency of resource utilization, optimize urban management and services, and improve the quality of life of citizens.

The specific definition of the smart city tends to be generalized. The current smart city is widely defined internationally as a city form supported by a new generation of information technology and the next generation of innovation in a knowledge society (Innovation 2.0). It has been emphasized that smart city is not just the application of new-generation information technologies such as the Internet of Things and cloud computing, but more importantly, it is to build a sustainable urban innovation ecology characterized by user innovation, open innovation, mass innovation, and collaborative innovation.

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From the perspective of the development process of smart cities, the construction of smart cities promotes sustainable economic growth and higher quality of life through investment in human and social capital, transportation and information communication infrastructure, and scientific management of resources and natural resources through participatory management.

For analysts, however, the key issue is the relationship between technical systems and the human environment. The idea of a “smart city” is the city’s informatization environment construction. With the application of new-generation information technology, human beings can manage the state of production and life in a more sophisticated and dynamic way. Also, by embedding and equipping sensors and cameras into various objects of production and living systems such as power supply system, water supply system, transportation system, building and oil and gas pipeline, the Internet of Things formed can be connected with the Internet to realize the integration of human society and physical information system.

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From the perspective of this construction process, it is obvious that the current knowledge, understanding, and construction of a smart city focus on the city’s information environment. However, cities are an important carrier and platform for human activities. This carrier and platform not only carry human activities, but also involve various types of urban assets, the most important of which is the digital assets of cities.

Digital assets are binary coded text or media resources that are authorized to be used, which include textual content, images, and multimedia. Digital assets include, but are not limited to, websites and their content, domain names, application software, code, electronic documents, image content, media content, e-currency, e-mail, game accounts, accounts and their content, social network accounts, and their relationships and content, cloud service accounts and their data, etc. From an economic perspective, digital assets are assets in the form of data that are owned or controlled by society, enterprises, and individuals. Digital assets are also current assets and fixed assets produced, operated, held, or sold in daily activities. Digital assets belong to network property, but they are also extremely important historical and cultural assets. They are the content assets of the urban information environment. In addition to serving people, the most essential thing for a smart city is to be able to serve content, which is an important embodiment of the value of the technology system.

In today’s modern information society, not only human wealth can be digitized, such as digital currency, but also human history, cultural wealth, as well as materials in libraries. In addition, cultural and artistic expression forms are also in the process of rapid digitization. These are valuable urban digital assets that will be relevant for generations to come.

Therefore, for smart cities, we should not adopt a mechanistic attitude, ignore the most valuable cultural property, nor only pay attention to the operation and management of cities. Otherwise, the technological progress of smart cities can only serve the city administrators.

It is perhaps to be expected that the smart city of the future will shine more brightly in culture, tourism, and urban value by using the city’s digital assets as the flashpoint and value point. The smart city showcase will focus on the rich digital assets of the city rather than just the tedious technical systems for the masses. Only in this way can a smart city have the vitality of the information age and show real value and prospect.

With the progress of digital technology and its wide application in cities, smart cities will gradually turn from a concept into a reality. In this process, urban assets will change, and more and more digital assets will appear, which will become the new connotation of a smart city and the shining point and value point of cities.

Source: Smart Cities and Their Digital Assets

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Nursinem Handan ŞAHAN
Nursinem Handan ŞAHAN
Graduated from Yıldız Technical University, Department of Geomatics Engineering in 2018 as an honour student. During her undergraduate education, she studied at the Warsaw University of Technology with the Erasmus + program. Currently continuing her education at Istanbul Technical University, Department of Geographical Information Technologies.

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