The Sagrada Familia Basilica has reinforced security measures with new gates and scanners. Applying smart tech to poorer areas requires localization, experts say. AFP / LLUIS GENE
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In poorer parts of the world, urban experts say efforts to improve cities with cutting-edge technology can run into challenges, particularly when applied in slums."A 24-hour smart water meter can only be possible if you're connected to the water system in the first place," said Ayona Datta, a reader in urban futures at King's College London.In developing countries, technology may be introduced across a city to make transport or water services more efficient, but will likely only work in its richer areas, she added.INDIA CONTROVERSYIn India, dozens of smart cities are planned as the South Asian nation seeks ways of coping with rapid growth in its urban population.By 2050, India will have an additional 300 million urban residents, according to U.N. Habitat, the U.N. agency that deals with cities.It involves a new 920-km metropolis on the edge of the ancient port city, set to run mostly on solar power and intended to become a global manufacturing hub.GENTRIFICATIONIn most of Africa, smart cities tend to be "top-down" projects to create satellite cities, like Konza Technopolis in Kenya and Eko Atlantic City in Nigeria, Odendaal noted.Elsewhere, smart city strategies have received a mixed reception.Rwanda's capital Kigali was praised for becoming one of the first cities in Africa to roll out free wireless internet in some areas in 2013 .
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