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White Paper

Building Future Intelligent Cities for People


The planning and designing of future cities is always challenging as human societies are constantly transforming and our needs are changing with time. We are trying to build our future by anticipating our requirements from our past experiences. In all our endeavors, the goal is to build a city that is better than existing ones for the people who live there.

Our vision for future cities should be one that is efficient and effective, sustainable in using natural resources, livable with clean and eco-friendly environment, and with high levels of residents’ happiness in meeting their social, economic and intellectual needs.

In this age of technology, we include the phrase “smart” or “intelligent” in describing a future city. Often these approaches address the challenges of efficiencies and optimization of city services. This leads to better conservation of resources like using less fossil fuels to be more green, as we emit less by being more efficient and creating better sustainability by extending limited resources by using less over time.

In this approach, the human is considered in a holistic manner and makes the right choices in using intelligent city services. Human factors could include people’s value systems, social responsibilities, motivations, emotional support (or the lack of it), accountability and  their cultural norms.

In this paper, we briefly describe an approach that we are taking to include human factors into the design of a future intelligent city. We provide a gist of the following:

  • Today’s mega trends
  • Today’s intelligent cities
  • Approaches in designing a people-centered future city
  • The reasons for building future cities

For additional reading, visit the SMU-TCS iCity Lab: Intelligence to Better Quality of Life.