Smart cities appeared in late 80s as a means to visualize urban context and they evolve fast since then. Today, they enhance digital content and services in urban areas, they incorporate pervasive computing and they face environmental challenges. Various international cases present alternative approaches to the smart city, while they capitalize the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for multiple purposes, which vary from simple e-service delivery to sophisticated data collection for municipal decision making . The fast growth of ICT technologies facilitates urban construction and development. Advanced wireless networks like 4G mobile broadband (MBB) make ubiquitous connectivity possible; cloud computing makes data sharing and integration, data mining and analysis possible; Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) makes cross-sector collaboration possible and increases urban management and emergency response efficiency. As discussed in , A Smart Sustainable City is a city that: (a) meets the needs of its present inhabitants (b) without compromising the ability for other people or future generations to meet their needs, and thus, does not exceed local or planetary environmental limitations. Smart City improves quality and intelligence of citizens' livelihood, and enhances environmental protection, public safety, urban services, and business activities. Thus, the concept of smart city is proposed to improve the quality of our lives. Meantime, we believe that the protection of key elements of our environment is important for human health. The ability to breathe clean air, to have a wholesome supply of drinking water and to be protected against harmful effects of things like waste and noise are fundamental to our well-being. An important part of our work involves investigating, identifying and assessing environmental problems and then working out best approaches to tackle them. Meanwhile, environment protection has the meaning of general terms of all kinds of actions taken by human in order to solve practical or potential environmental issues, coordinate relationship between human and environment, and ensure a sustainable economic and social development. The methods and means are of engineering technology, administration as well as legal, economic, propaganda and education, etc. We believe there are a comprehensive set of solutions: Smart Government, Smart Monitoring especially including Air Quality Monitoring and Water Quality Monitoring.
Smart monitoring and big data Monitoring activities detect changes in the environment and can be used for several purpose. To develop new advanced services for smart environments, data gathered during the monitoring need to be stored, processed and correlated to different pieces of information that characterize or influence the environment itself. In the Internet of Things (IoT) perspective, billions of physical sensors and devices are interconnected through the Internet to provide many heterogeneous, complex and unstructured data. Many effort in the industry and in the research community have been focused on the storage of IoT data, in order to balance costs and performance for data maintenance and analysis . Monitoring infrastructures in smart environments belong to different tenants spread on a worldwide area. There are several possible models that lead tenants to share their data over the Cloud. As shown in Fig. 1, a typical cloud storage system contains multi-media objects, observation technology and signal control system. For example, the tenants provides data as open sensing data through the web. In this case, the Cloud storage provider is interested in integrating such type of data in its system; or the tenant is at the same time both resource provider and consumer, and it exploits the Cloud to extend his physical infrastructure by means of the Cloud virtual infrastructure; otherwise, the Cloud storage provider and the tenant company make commercial agreements. We can roughly classify such environmental data in two main types: (1) Observations: measurements of physical or composed phenomena performed by sensing devices. Observations can be expressed by tuples (key, value) and stored in text file forwarded across the network; (2) Objects: multimedia contents (e.g., audio, image, video and animation) recorded by information content processing devices . Furthermore, after monitoring, large amount of data will be collected and then Based on the above discussion regarding the Big Data experience there are a number of suggested recommendations (1) Review and recalibrate information and data policies as necessary. (2) Robust data platform and architecture. (3) Processing and computing power. (4) Data standards (5) Data sharing across sectors. (6) Data curation, archiving, and preservation. (7) Foster research and data communities. However, providing open environmental data can be a costly process, both in terms of time and resources. Additionally, other issues such as apathy, confusion and untrusted quality-control cause databases owned and/or managed by many institutions to be not publicly accessible. As a consequence, the re-use and re-purpose of these data is often limited by intellectual property rights, patents and other mechanisms of control. On the contrary, there is a trend of increasing transparency, in which information produced at public expense should be made open and freely available to improve public involvement in the process of decision and policy making . Many governments are currently committed to publish open environmental data. Using Big Data involves many challenges. First of all, the sheer quantity of data poses technical difficulties for obtaining and processing. Data heterogeneity, although used in “environmental knowledge integration” as an added value for decision makers as well as data-driven businesses poses a major challenge to research teams. The accuracy and precision of measurements, for instance, can be highly variable depending on the source and method. Signs of expedited climate changes, severity of extreme weather events for which classification still poses Fig.1 The Cloud storage service  many open questions. Hence, the collected environmental data need to be shared with research institutions and the public, to take full advantages of the data. As a result, more and more environmental protection technologies will be proposed and the citizen's environmental protection consciousness will be enhanced, which will further improve the effect of environmental protection.