Many municipalities around the world are exploring the Smart City concept as a way to make themselves better places to live, work, and grow. The market for technologies that feed into and support Smart City programs and projects will grow on a global basis from $8 billion in 2010 to exceed $39 billion in 2016, accounting for $116 billion in cumulative spending during that period.
How will all that money be spent? These cities may be installing municipal wireless networks, implementing e-government initiatives by providing access to city departments and initiatives through websites, integrating public transportation with intelligent transportation systems, or developing ways to cut their carbon footprints and reduce the amount of recyclables consigned to the trash heap.
ABI Research practice director Larry Fisher, says, “Certain technologies are in use in most Smart City projects and programs. These include communication-based technologies, such as broadband, Wi-Fi, and RFID, while others target improved energy efficiency through the incorporation of smart meters and the smart grid. Some municipalities decide to utilize elements of Intelligent Transportation Systems and Transportation Information Systems, to maximize transportation efficiency and reduce traffic delays, cutting fuel waste and carbon emissions.”
Smart City projects frequently share some of the following characteristics:
• A networked infrastructure;
• Information and communication technologies (ICT) to increase prosperity and competitiveness – for citizens and local businesses alike;
• Collective community intelligence based on effective planning for urban and regional development, and innovation management; and
• A focus on social and environmental sustainability through the participation of citizens in city processes, with the aim of balancing growth initiatives with the protection of valuable natural resources.
Fisher concludes, “Due to city-by-city project differences, a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be applied to Smart Cities. In the long term, the adoption of open standards will be of paramount importance as the basis for technology choices underpinning any Smart City development.”
A new study by ABI Research, “Smart Cities: Municipal Networking, Communications, Traffic/Transportation, and Energy,” examines more than 50 actual Smart City projects around the world, providing data on the technologies that can make a municipality more efficient and more responsive to its citizens.
This study is published as part of ABI Research’s Smart Cities Research Service.
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