Obviously there no one definition, but this one by Cambridge Centre
for Smart Infrastructure and Construction covers the essence of smart
In a world where infrastructure is truly smart, sensing technologies
are embedded in infrastructure and the equipment it interacts with.
These sensors are connected to a communication backbone which allows
real-time data acquisition and analysis. The information gathered is
analysed, interpreted and delivered as reliable, robust and meaningful
information to infrastructure providers, who can then make
better-informed decisions about the structural health and maintenance of
In a sensing environment, infrastructure is able to respond in real
time to users’ needs. Self-aware infrastructure assets direct their own
maintenance, leading to condition-based maintenance, reduced down time
and greater operational efficiency of the infrastructure overall.
Better information leads to an enhanced understanding of the
behaviour of infrastructure. The impact of this will lead to
transformations in the approaches to design and construction as well as
step changes in improved health and productivity, greater efficiency in
design and performance, a low-carbon society and sustainable urban
planning and management.
Definition by CSIC.
Other terms used are: Structural Health Monitoring (The International
Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure =
ISHMII) or Prognostics and Health Management (PHM Society).