IT leader’s guide to the rise of smart cities, volume 3

Powerful trends are pushing the global community to develop more smart cities and invest in connected technologies, as the world population increases and more people move to urban environments. This ebook looks at smart city growth from several angles and offers real-world examples of where and how the tech is being planned and implemented.

From the ebook:

By 2050, there will be approximately 2.5 billion new urban residents. “Every month our urban population grows by about 5 million between births and migration. So that’s roughly a million new housing units we need every month, and then the requisite number of hospitals and schools and roadways and other infrastructure,” said Jesse Berst, chairman of the Smart Cities Council, during Smart Cities Week in Washington, DC, in October 2017.

As new infrastructure is built to support the growing population, it is essential that it is smart infrastructure to improve the lives of citizens.

“This is not just a trend. It’s a race. The world is not waiting for us. It’s a race for a connected lifestyle,” Berst said.

However, there are five major infrastructure roadblocks that cities across the globe have to deal with to become a smart city. Different regions might have different priorities, but almost all cities face these five issues:

  • Technology
  • Policy
  • Financing
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Governance

Roadblock #1: Technology
The Smart Cities Council has surveyed city officials, and they consistently say that understanding which technology they need is their top concern. Berst said he hears from city officials asking questions such as, “How do I do it in a cross-cutting way? How do you actually do it in real life, and what does that mean, and which vendors do you use?”

“This is actually the easiest of the problems, and I’m not saying it’s trivial, but that’s technology stuff that we’ve got figured out, if they could connect to the right companies,” Berst said.

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June 25, 2021
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