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Smart Cities Could be the Future for Jamaica’s Growth

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The concept of using the latest technologies to manage the infrastructure in major cities can result in multiple benefits, including spurring the economic growth of the country. This is the considered opinion of many experts, who have shared their views on how this concept would work in the context of Jamaica. One of the most critical aspects of managing a city relates to its traffic, and one does not have to go far around Kingston, to understand this. The technology could bring relief in controlling traffic.

Smart Signals and CCTV Cameras Could Do It

Technology, as it is, can definitely help; but it needs to be smartly used and there has to be human intervention to make the technology beneficial. This is done through effective coordination between the different agencies entrusted with the management of traffic. Smart signals, for instance, can work to adjust the timings to suit the traffic in a particular direction. Time-based adjustments are also possible through the application of information technology tools available now. Then there are the CCTV cameras set up all over the city that transmit live feeds to the control centre. This is where the coordination part comes in. Drivers leave their vehicles parked at the wrong places all the time, which lead to traffic woes. The cameras can pick up these violations and then the traffic regulators have to quickly act to have the offending vehicle removed. The proposed Transport Sector Plan is expected to address each of these issues and hopefully, if the plan gets implemented, there will be relief on the residents and visitors within Kingston. The National Works Agency (NWA) is the nodal agency for the implementation of this plan.

Healthy Rub-off on Businesses

In the opinion of experts, better management of the roads in a cosmopolitan city can have ripple effects on many sectors. What has to be understood is that faster movement of traffic and lesser time consumed in commuting will directly result in greater efficacy. Businesses that rely on turnaround times for deliveries etc. will be able to realise higher profits and so on. The smart city concept can be extended to smart offices bringing in greater efficiency among their employees. These modern technologies are capable of regulating energy through smart use. Automatically switching off lights, air-conditioners, etc. when the technology senses there are no people in the area, can result in millions of dollars in savings on electricity consumption. Security is another area that can be enhanced using smart technology. For sure, several start-ups will come up to handle all these requirements.

Once Kingston becomes smart, other areas of the island can follow suit.


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