The impetuous towards developing Smart Cities can be driven by a number of factors. It may be that citizens, who have increasingly becoming accustomed to the convenience of services being made available through the internet and through apps on their smart phones and tablets become frustrated when ICT services and infrastructure aren’t keeping up. This in turn places pressure on Governments and operators to improve the situation which leads to looking at the infrastructure issues of a community from a holistic view.
The economy is another driver of Smart City initiatives. In many areas the cost of running the society and the economy has risen to unsustainable levels. At the same time, modern technology can reduce these costs and the organisations, companies and cities that are harnessing this are able to be far more competitive. On a city level, cities will need to be able to facilitate this in order to attract new investments, new jobs, new citizens and new developments. Modern technology provides citizens, companies and investors with far greater flexibility to choose between cities, both nationally and internationally. We see what can be achieved – for instance, in Glasgow in the UK and Newcastle in Australia.
Perhaps the best illustration of a Society being the main driver is China, where these is enormous investment in smart cities occurring; simply because many of these cities are perceived by their citizens to be unacceptable places to live. The increase in health costs and economic losses is now such that smart city developments are at the head of the list of most of the top 100 cities in that country.
Social, technological and economic developments have accelerated over the last 200 years to such an extent that they are moving faster than the ‘normal evolutionary processes’. Technological advances in M2M, IoT and data analytics are perhaps the only developments that will be able to keep pace with these changes, creating a world with more intelligent and smarter communities.
- There is a growing trend towards Urbanisation and in 2017 there are now more citizens living in cities than in rural areas.
- The home is considered by many as the next battlefield for technology companies, where all home devices would connect in an Internet-of-Things controlled by a smartphone or tablet.
- M2M connections linked to Smart/connected cities will have one of the fastest growths (CAGR) through to 2021.
- With energy consumption expected to grow worldwide by more than 40% over the next 25 years, demand in some parts of the world could exceed 100% in that time. This will produce an increase in competition for resources, resulting in higher costs. In an environment such as this; energy efficiency will become even more important and there will be a growing urgency for Smart Energy development.
- Development of Smart Transport technologies and strategies are well underway in many parts of the world. Smart vehicles in particular have become a very popular sector for innovation with not only the large car companies having a hand in this; but also, the Internet technology enterprises like Google.
BuddeComm Report: Global Smart Infrastructure – Paving the Way for Smart Nations
Analysts Kylie Wansink and Paul Budde