Though the concept of a “smart city” has been around for decades, its latest iteration is one that prioritizes technology, such as advanced robotics, to improve the lives of citizens.

This includes developing efficient infrastructure with cutting-edge technology without raising costs, all while improving sustainability.As urban populations rise, so will spending to meet the demands of these cities.

A study from the International Data Corporation found that in 2016, smart city technology spending reached nearly $80 billion, with researchers projecting that spending to reach $135 billion by 2021.While a number of emerging technologies will factor into this spending, it is likely that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) will provide important and diverse contributions to the evolution of smart cities.

A recent report published in Science Direct found UAVs can be used for everything from environmental monitoring to traffic management to provide cost-effective services to local governments.But how will UAV implementation impact the design and management of smart cities at-large?