With IoT, cities can integrate, analyze, and visualize diverse information. Cities can discover new insights; imagine examining patterns of transit demand in relation to air quality or citywide energy use, or understanding the walkability of a city in relation to pedestrian congestion and storefront width. IoT can also reduce costs by enabling simple efficiencies: Trash can be collected only when receptacles are full and public parks can be watered only when the ground is dry. But these new capabilities bring new challenges for city officials. Who will pay for the infrastructure? Who will own the data? And how can the public ensure that citizens’ privacy and security are protected?
Cities are responsible for protecting the public good. IoT presents an immense opportunity, but cities will have a critical role in directing the development of this field to maximize benefits for the public and protect the public from predatory abuses.