Special Report: Smart Cities
Raconteur’s special report on Smart Cities, which was just published in The Times, unpicks what the future city will look like, as well as the current market for smart solutions. The report covers, among other issues, the latest technology helping to solve urban issues, Latin America’s first smart city and how personal data can be used to improve citizens’ lives.
The report starts with an article about “What being ‘smart’ means for cities”. Although the word “smart” seemingly gets attached to almost anything nowadays, reality, lags somewhat behind the concept. According to Stephen Hilton, director of Bristol Futures Global, “smart cities were a marketing ploy by corporates to sell bundles of software. But pretty soon they recognised cities didn’t just want to ‘buy smart’, they wanted to ‘be smart’”.
The report continues with a paper on the challenge that London has to meet to remain on the leading edge of digital technology. London, which is doing well in the current smart city league tables, will have to work a lot in order to maintain that standing in the years and decades to come. One of the main tools to achieve that would be smart data. Smart cities run on data to provide and refine services, which enhance the quality of citizens’ lives, however, personal privacy may be infringed. The following paper “What if data privacy wasn’t an issue?” shows that in a recent survey from Broadband Genie, almost seven in ten respondents said they were worried about the privacy implications of having their personal data collected and retained. Concerns like these have hampered planners looking to reap the full benefits from smart cities, usually quite rightly.
You can download the full Smart Cities special report here.