Dan Swinhoe, from IDG Connect, summarizes the latest developments in the field of smart cities worldwide. He covers both smart cities that are being built from scratch and current cities that are being revamped using technology.
These projects are great ideas and the kind of forward thinking the world needs as the pressure of trying to keep everything moving increases. But I’m not sure we’ll be seeing a wholesale revolution of how we live our lives. For the near-future, I think these tech/U/Smart Cities will be the exception rather than the norm. Purpose built super cities in advanced markets such as South Korea will probably be the most successful if they can convince people to inhabit them, while other established mega-cities will be best positioned to profit from incremental changes. But I can’t imagine a city like London ever becoming a hyper-modern metropolis when relatively simple tasks such as keeping signals on the Underground working seems to be a daily struggle.
I think for the concept of Smart Cities to work, they need to be approached from the ground up. With smartphones and tablets selling in ever-larger numbers; companies are starting to integrate them into ‘Smart Homes’, and this retro-fitting might be easier than a wholesale rebuilding of entire cities.