Smart City Terminology


A Smart City is of course not a normal city.
We have heard about intelligent washing-machines, smartphones… the list of clever objects could easily go on. We are used to accept the absurd concept that a thing can have a “mind” too. What if your intelligent washing-machine

knows that your cellphone is smart too, and vice versa? The label is the same: smart. But it is easy to understand that the potential of this collective artificial intelligence is much higher.Fortunately, a smart city does not include your kitchen, which would be dystopic at least. In a smart city all places, buildings and any kind of structural elements are connected not only by public transport, but also by technology.But why would we ever need something like this? As we can read on the official website of  Luxembourg City, the purpose of all this is to offer a large panoply of services in several areas such as mobility, housing, environment, security and education.This will be achieved through intelligent interfaces with the users, allowing an intuitive interaction with the environment.
This omnipresent technology would also allow us to collect a huge amount of data and process it for different purposes, such as:
Smart Governance, by promoting participation in public life, providing transparent governance, facilitating access to public and social services;Smart Mobility, by facilitating local, national and international accessibility, ensuring the sustainability of the transportation system and offering a highly available IT infrastructure, as well asSmart Environment, whose aim is to promote ecological awareness and renewable resources, informing about environmental conditions.Finally the Smart Living puts the conditions in place to increase the quality of housing, to guarantee high personal security, to offer educational facilities, cultural facilities and tourist attractions.
On the Telensa webpage dedicated to Smart City Terms  you can find a good overview of all terms related to Smart Cities.

API stands for ‘application programming interface’. It’s a set of definitions, protocols and tools that allows different software and hardware to integrate with one another.
Autonomous vehicles

We’re fast approaching the era of self-driving cars. They’re just one type of autonomous vehicle – a category of vehicles that can sense the environment around them and navigate from one place to another without human input.
Big data

Big data refers to the collection of data sets that are so large and complex that it’s difficult to capture, transfer, store, process and interpret with traditional data processing applications. It allows for rich information to be derived on a range of variables such as real-time traffic conditions, air pollution and energy use.
Citizen-centric approach

The delivery of services based on solving the needs and challenges of the people they serve – used as a way to increase public satisfaction, improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Combines Infrastructure-as‐a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technologies for use as a common, city-wide platform for the deployment of integrated smart city technologies. Think: operating system for the city.
Hyper-local data

Data gathered or shared within a very tight geographical area, such as a street or apartment block.

Crudely, the concept of things (such as devices or everyday objects) to have built-in internet connectivity and the ability to communicate with other connected devices.

Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network. It facilitates long range communications at a low bit rate between connected objects. Think: a network through which city infrastructure can communicate.
Multi-modal transport

Simply a system that facilitates a variety of transport options, such as cycling, bus, light rail, train, ferry or walking.
Open data

Data that is freely available for everyone to use without copyright, patent or other restrictions.

A category of cloud computing services that provides a platform to facilitate the development and management of digital applications.
Predictive analysis

The use of statistical techniques such as predictive modelling, machine learning and data mining to analyse data and make predictions about the future.

An electronic component, module or subsystem used to detect events, triggers or changes in the surrounding environment.
Situational awareness

In short: awareness of the surrounding environment; the perception of environmental elements and events and understanding of their meaning. For example: autonomous vehicles have situation awareness.
Small data

Small data refers to highly specific fragments of data collected by a large population of sensors. The data, such as an air quality measurements, are small in size but very precise in terms of time and place (see “hyperlocal data”).
Smart waste

Waste receptacles, such as city litter bins and commercial waste bins, equipped with connected sensors that collect and share data on, for example, the need for and frequency of waste collections.
Smart city

A city that uses smart technologies and connected infrastructure to gather data, improve the provision of public services, reduce civic costs, increase liveability for citizens and boost sustainability.
Smart city applications/apps

A type of smart city technology or system that has a specific function: such as smart street lighting, smart bins or smart drains.
Smart drains

Drains equipped with sensors that send alerts when they are in danger of over-silting or overflowing, and collect fill rate data that can be used for highly efficient predictive cleaning operations.
Smart grid

An enhanced electrical grid that uses analogue or digital technology to gather and act on information such as supplier or consumer behaviour to automatically improve the efficiency and sustainability of electricity distribution.
Smart infrastructure

The integration of smart technologies into the fundamental systems that serve a city or municipal area.
Smart street lighting

Street lights that can be controlled wirelessly to save energy and reduce maintenance costs. The wireless network controlling street lighting can also be expanded to connect sensors that gather data on weather conditions, air pollution and more.
Smart networks

A network that contains built-in diagnostics, management, fault tolerance and other capabilities to prevent downtime and maintain efficient performance.
Smart parking

A system that helps drivers find vacant parking spaces using sensors and communications networks.

The maintenance and betterment of the ecological, social and economic health of a city.
Traffic adaptive lighting

With this type of smart street lighting the brightness of the street lighting varies automatically based on real-time traffic flow data.
Ubiquitous cities (U-cities)

A hyper-connected smart city: all information systems working in the city are linked and virtually everything is connected to a cohesive city platform.
UNB network

A type of LPWAN pioneered by Telensa to connect smart city sensors and controls at low cost for the rapid integration of smart city applications.
Unstructured data

Information that lacks a pre-defined data model for interpretation or analysis.
Urban data platform

Provides a cohesive digital environment for the aggregation of data across multiple geographic areas or civic functions of the city. Think: a single platform for collecting and sharing city data.
Wireless lighting

Lighting that can be controlled wirelessly. See: smart street lighting.

A measure of viability of a smart city application relating to economic competitiveness and productivity.[/expander_maker]

This year, two student groups of the Faculty ISIT- Intercultural School of Paris, worked in collaboration with TermCoord. One of the student groups worked on a terminology project on the topic of “Smart Cities” from English into French, which is now accessible in the section of the University Projects . The terms will be validated by the terminologists of the French Translation Unit of the European Parliament and inserted into IATE.

Click here to access the related  article.


Smart City, Ville de Luxembourg, Accessed date: 01.08.2019

Smart cities: a glossary of Terms, Telensa, Accessed date: 01.08.2019

Cosimo photoWritten by Cosimo Palma

I studied philosophy, historical philosophy, philosophical history and history in the redundant Naples, computational linguistics and informatics in the city of Marx.
Language enthusiast and chess player in the free time, until the end of September I will spend my busy time in the Tower A of the European Parliament in Luxembourg, trying to do my best in the communication as well as in the operational department of the Terminology unit.