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On the Internet of Things, Smart Cities and the WHO Healthy Cities


On the Internet of Things, Smart Cities and the WHO Healthy Cities

Maged N Kamel Boulos et al. Int J Health Geogr.


This article gives a brief overview of the Internet of Things (IoT) for cities, offering examples of IoT-powered 21st century smart cities, including the experience of the Spanish city of Barcelona in implementing its own IoT-driven services to improve the quality of life of its people through measures that promote an eco-friendly, sustainable environment. The potential benefits as well as the challenges associated with IoT for cities are discussed. Much of the 'big data' that are continuously generated by IoT sensors, devices, systems and services are geo-tagged or geo-located. The importance of having robust, intelligent geospatial analytics systems in place to process and make sense of such data in real time cannot therefore be overestimated. The authors argue that IoT-powered smart cities stand better chances of becoming healthier cities. The World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Cities Network and associated national networks have hundreds of member cities around the world that could benefit from, and harness the power of, IoT to improve the health and well-being of their local populations.

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    1. Kamel Boulos MN, Resch B, Crowley DN, Breslin JG, Sohn G, Burtner R, Pike WA, Jezierski E, Chuang K-YS. Crowdsourcing, citizen sensing and Sensor Web technologies for public and environmental health surveillance and crisis management: trends, OGC standards and application examples. Int J Health Geogr. 2011;10:67. doi: 10.1186/1476-072X-10-67. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Kamel Boulos MN. Seeing through the crowds: crowdmaps visualize user-reported data. GeoWorld. 2012;25(6):22–25.
    1. Kamel Boulos MN. Towards citizen-led health mapping. GeoConnexion: UK. 2013;11(5):54–56.
    1. Kamel Boulos MN. Proceedings of GEOMED 2013, the 8th international interdisciplinary conference on spatial epidemiology, spatial statistics and geomedical systems. Sheffield, UK: The Edge—University of Sheffield conference venue; 2013. Public engagement and participation in health geography: crowdmaps (crowdsourced maps) by citizens, for citizens; pp. 16–18.
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