On the Internet of Things, smart cities and the WHO Healthy Cities

Maged N Kamel Boulos, Najeeb M Al-Shorbaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


This article gives a brief overview of the Internet of Things (IoT) for cities, offering examples of IoT-powered 21st century smart cities, including the experience of the Spanish city of Barcelona in implementing its own IoT-driven services to improve the quality of life of its people through measures that promote an eco-friendly, sustainable environment. The potential benefits as well as the challenges associated with IoT for cities are discussed. Much of the 'big data' that are continuously generated by IoT sensors, devices, systems and services are geo-tagged or geo-located. The importance of having robust, intelligent geospatial analytics systems in place to process and make sense of such data in real time cannot therefore be overestimated. The authors argue that IoT-powered smart cities stand better chances of becoming healthier cities. The World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Cities Network and associated national networks have hundreds of member cities around the world that could benefit from, and harness the power of, IoT to improve the health and well-being of their local populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10
JournalInternational Journal of Health Geographics
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2014


  • Cities
  • Environmental Health
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Urban Health
  • World Health Organization


Dive into the research topics of 'On the Internet of Things, smart cities and the WHO Healthy Cities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this