5 min read

Digital Signage in Smart Cities - Top Examples of Public Communication

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
December 29, 2023
May 29, 2024

Digital signage for smart cities has taken over the world. Every month authorities in various locations add screens to the streets and institutions. Interactive displays fulfill one very important task. They make life for inhabitants and guests better. That’s why it’s always great to see real-life examples of digital signage in smart cities to understand what’s trending in this domain at the moment. Here are the awesome smart signage projects you should know about.

What is a smart city and why it is a good concept?

56%. That’s the percentage of people living in the cities on our planet according to the latest data from the World Bank. Number-wise it is 4.4 billion inhabitants. 

As Earth struggles with pollution and overheating, solutions should be implemented to sustainably lead humanity into the future. The technological capabilities progress and new challenges arise. One of the most pressing of them all is a quest to make cities more livable and sustainable. 

That’s when the smart city concept comes into play. Here are a few great definitions of what that exactly is. 

European Commission defines a smart city as “a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital solutions for the benefit of its inhabitants and business.”

Per National Geographic, the concept means “a city in which a suite of sensors (typically hundreds or thousands) is deployed to collect electronic data from and about people and infrastructure so as to improve efficiency and quality of life.”

It is always about the improvement of the existing city experience. 

What tools lead to such an improvement and its scale are up to an individual approach to cities in the world.

What are the integral parts of the smart city concept?

A smart city is a very complex concept. And that’s fully understandable as cities differ in size, population, culture, geography, and readiness to embrace the digital solution. 

Usually, smart cities include several “smarts” like: 

1) smart infrastructure 

2) smart public transportation

3) smart wayfinding

4) smart energy consumption

5) smart public services

6) smart environmental relations 

The list is not exhaustive. Some cities engage more in digital transformation (like Dubai, Tokyo, or Shanghai). Some are slower to get on with a full-scale smart approach (like LA or San Francisco). 

Still, it’s safe to say that the smart city concept is trending worldwide for many years and it’s a superb way to make local living better.

Why digital signage in smart cities is always a great idea? 

Interactive screens are very engaging and impressively versatile. Cities can use the power of signage technology to: 

- ameliorate wayfinding 

- promote sustainability

- communicate with the community

- improve commute experience

- provide information 

- enhance safety 

- reduce energy consumption 

- regulate traffic and pedestrian flow, etc. 

Having a digital signage-powered smart city strategy is one of the best ways to make this concept a reality. Displays come in all shapes and sizes, they instantly capture the attention of the viewer, they can be used to broadcast every type of content there is, and they can be effectively integrated with such next-gen solutions as AI, AR, and VR. 

In other words, adopting digital signage for smart cities is an integral part of the transformation process. 

These are the top examples of digital signage in smart cities.

1. Interactive navigation kiosk in Raleigh


Why: a great example of the neighborhood smart city activation was presented in Raleigh this year. Interactive kiosks were installed around downtown that function as both wayfinding helpers and community guides. That’s what the smart city concept is all about, putting emphasis on community, helping people, and promoting local businesses.

2. Seoul public metaverse


Why: quite an unusual way of smart city public communication was unveiled in South Korea’s capital in 2023. Seoul has officially entered the metaverse with the state-sponsored VR mega concept of a virtual city. Not only does the system allow inhabitants to virtually tour the city, but it also enables you to do your civil duties like pay taxes and file complaints. The screens are used as the entrance points to the metaverse through QR-codes.

3. Busan fully smart village 


Why: South Korea is one of the leaders in the smart city movement and Eco Delta Smart Village in Busan is a great example of that. Here data is collected from every household and used to regulate and improve day-to-day life and ensure the maximum sustainability of the future. You can read the in-depth feature on that project by The New York Times. 

One of the tools that helps facilitate the operations is the touch-activated mirror screen in each of the houses that allows the inhabitants to monitor health, do fitness, and stay connected with other gadgets around the house. 

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