Smart Cities Seen as Major Driver of ICT Innovation for the Next Three Decades

To encourage a thriving culture, cities must attain economic, social, and environmental sustainability

Global metropolitan areas are facing unprecedented challenges as the pace of urbanization is increasing at a pace that is testing the ability of city planners to meet the current and anticipated needs of its citizens. Each day, more than 150 thousand people get added in urban areas, either because of migration or births. Between now and 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to grow by more than 70%. Additionally, with climate change and other environmental pressures, cities are increasingly needed to be “Smart” and take significant actions to meet stringent targets inflicted by commitments and legal obligations.

Moreover, the enhanced mobility of our societies has created extreme competition between cities to attract skilled residents, corporate presence and related jobs. To encourage a thriving culture, cities must attain economic, social, and environmental sustainability. This can be made possible by improving a city’s efficiency, which needs to leverage a variety of disparate infrastructure and services. Despite the fact that the availability of smart solutions for cities has grown quickly, the transformation will only happen with the realization of radical changes in the way cities function today.

In theory, developing Smart Cities is a simple process in which solution providers provide infrastructure and technologies and city authorities acquire them and integrate them. The reality is much different as developing a Smart City represents and ongoing transformation process in which the correct environment for smart solutions to be efficiently accepted takes shape over a period of decades. The development of a Smart City also needs participation, input, ideas and expertise from a large number of stakeholders, not the least of which is the citizenry.

The Mind Commerce report, Smart Cities: Global Outlook and Forecasts 2014 – 2019, provides analysis identifying Smart City development as a focal point for growth drivers in several key ICT areas including: M2M/IoT, Connected Devices, Broadband Wireless, Cloud Computing, Big Data and Analytics.

Mind Commerce sees Smart Homes in particular as one of the key markets at the center of the Smart City transformation and also a large revenue component of the overall market opportunity.

Technological innovation is a driving factor for the development of cities. These innovations are also an important support for those searching for new ways to manage resources and deliver services. A lot of Smart City technologies are being developed to manage specific issues in energy distribution, energy management, transportation management, or public safety.