The smart city concept is driving new integrated approaches to city operations with city leaders globally embracing the smart city concept by heralding innovative projects and laying out a vision for how cities can use technology to meet sustainability goals, boost local economies, and improve services, according to Navigant Research.
Smart city technologies are being developed to address a range of issues, including energy management, water management, urban mobility, street lighting, and public safety -- underpinned by general developments in areas such as wireless communications, sensor networks, data analytics, and cloud computing.
One key driver for innovation in smart city projects around the world is the opportunity to capture and make use of big data. The ability to harness real-time, highly-granular data across a wide range of city operations and services is changing the way the urban environment is managed and experienced. However, before cities can fully enter the big data era, city managers must address some critical challenges, according to Navigant, particularly the lack of appropriate skills among city government employees.
Creating more sustainable, resilient, and livable cities is of vital importance to nations around the world. In particular, the rapid urbanization of Asia and Africa is driving strong growth in the market for smart city technologies that can connect and modernize power grids, water treatment and transfer systems, transportation management systems, and energy-efficient buildings, Navigant says.
"New infrastructure for rapidly expanding cities is being underpinned by information and communications technologies that are deeply embedded in the urban fabric and are profoundly changing the way cities operate and how people live and work in these environments," said Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. "City leaders are embracing these innovations to meet sustainability goals, boost local economies, and improve services."
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