According to a preview of the CARTES 2012 Exhibition, on 6 to 8 November in Paris, many municipalities are exploring the “Smart City” concept in order to become better places to live, work, and grow.
According to Cartes more than half the world’s population lives in cities, and the percentage is growing; according to McKinsey, in China alone, 350 million people – more than the current population of the United States – will move to cities by 2030.
‘Smart City’ solutions are intended to leverage IT to deliver citizen services more efficiently, and effect behavior change so cities can develop more sustainably.
According to Cartes a city becomes ‘smart’ when all parts of its infrastructure and government services are digitally connected and optimized. This intelligent infrastructure is powered by sensors, the ‘cloud’ and smart interfaces.
A $40 Billion Market In 2016
According to ABI Research, the global market for technologies that feed into and support Smart City programs and projects are expected to grow, on a global basis, from $8 billion in 2010 to nearly $40 billion in 2016.
A Fertile Field
Among a wide range of initiatives, some emblematic smart cities in development include:
The ‘U-City’ (Ubiquitous-City) model in Korea, enabling such urban functions and services as e-Administration, traffic, crime prevention, fire prevention and home-networking, with major experiments in the ‘new Songdo City’ to be launched in 2014.
Cityzi, the most emblematic French initiative featuring smart cities, launched in Nice in May 2010. Based on a combination of smartphones and NFC technology, the Citizy application is gathering telcos, banks, transit-system companies and a wide range of service providers.
The Amsmarterdam city program in the Netherlands, addressing mainly sustainability in living and mobility.