Currently 54% of the world’s population is living in cities. United Nation estimates by 2020 this number will increase to 66%, with Asia and Africa urbanizing at the fastest rate . Centralized economic areas get additional middle-class consumers, which drive the world’s economic growth. Additionally, Oxford Economics estimates that by 2030, 220 million additional consumers will live in the 750 biggest cities and form 60% of the global spending. Spending of non-essential product will also grow by 88%.
With the accelerated growth of global population and urbanization, the word ”smart city” is popping out more often. By smart cities, we are referring to the data which improves economic and environmental health, productivity and overall ease of living. In order to solve the efficiency needs for companies headquartered in those cities, companies will have to become more aware of, and plan around utilizing digitalization.
The development of cloud-based technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), real-world user interfaces, sensors and communication based semantic web, open new ways to collective action and collaborative problem solving, which are at the base of smart cities. They help cities to form a hub where everything is connected. In Santander Spain over 20.000 sensors connect buildings, infrastructure, transport, networks and utilities as a city hub, which monitors air pollution, noise, traffic and parking and make the data available to everyone.
A New York based Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) has been investigating smart cities since 1999 and create a yearly list of cities which are the most advanced. In 2015 the list included three cities from the United States (Arlington County, Columbia, Mitchell), Ipswich from Australia, New Taipei City from Taiwan, Rio de Janeiro from Brazil and Surrey from Canada. The ranking includes evaluation of e.g. university research and business collaboration, open data, advanced transportation systems, broadband availability, technology awareness and knowledge based economy. These cities have found intelligent ways to harness digitalization to improve safety, build intelligent transport networks, and boost local employment.
The smart city winner for 2015 was announced in June and it was Columbia, USA.
So the question for you remains – How could your city improve to get to the smart city ranking? Download our latest IoT Datasheet to learn how you can get ahead of this trend.