With the Internet of Things (IoT) as a foundation, technologies such as automated street lighting, smart energy meters, parking assistance apps and sensors have ability to make cities safer and more accessible, says a new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The report, The Rise and Growth of Smart Cities in Europe, collects both primary and secondary research to gain a deeper understanding of smart cities in Europe. CTA's findings can be applied to cities across the globe exploring topics such as the current landscape and progress, growth drivers, implementation, development barriers and the future of smart cities.
"The smart city is making incredible strides - especially in Europe - harnessing ingredient technologies such as artificial intelligence, sensors, data analytics, connectivity and more to change our lives for the better," said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, CTA. "Smart cities make daily life in our communities more efficient, reduce environmental impact, improve city services, create jobs and benefit the economy. They make us safer and offer greater accessibility. And with two-thirds of the world's population living in cities by 2050, now is the time to harness technology's potential to improve urban life."
The report reveals smart cities will have immense benefits on the city's economy:
- Greater efficiencies in public resources
- More affordable public services (e.g. health care, transportation)
- Increased investments as the cities become more intelligent, in turn creating jobs
- Increased demand for knowledge-based positions in programming and data mining due to automation
- Higher wages offered by new technology jobs
"Challenges do exist for smart cities - the biggest of which are buy-in from stakeholders, political will and funding," said Koenig. "There is a real need for public-private partnerships to help make smart cities a reality. On the policy front, regulatory initiatives must foster the ability of technologies to work together in a way that benefits the development of smart cities."
CTA's research found there are more than 200 smart city projects of varying degree underway across Europe. Some 83 percent of these projects are focused on smart environment and energy conservation efforts, while more than half (52 percent) are working on smart mobility solutions.