Just what is a smart city?

There many examples, and some very nebulous definitions

Kansas City, Missouri
Thinkstock

What's a "smart city"?

It's a fair question, but a hard one to answer.

Many larger municipalities have embraced the "smart city" concept in recent years, but definitions of the term -- and examples of the ways technology is being used to make cities "smart" -- run the gamut. Mayors and city CIOs usually talk about using sensors to, say, wirelessly manage streetlights and traffic signals to lower energy costs, and they can provide specific returns on investment for such initiatives -- x millions of dollars saved over x amount of time, for example.

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