Creating more sustainable, resilient, and livable cities is of vital importance to nations around the world. In particular, the rapid urbanization of Asia and Africa is driving strong growth in the market for smart city technologies that can connect and modernize power grids, water treatment and transfer systems, transportation management systems and energy efficient buildings.
“New infrastructure for rapidly expanding cities is being underpinned by information and communications technologies that are deeply embedded in the urban fabric and are profoundly changing the way cities operate and how people live and work in these environments,” says Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. “City leaders are embracing these innovations to meet sustainability goals, boost local economies, and improve services.”
One key driver for innovation in smart city projects around the world is the opportunity to capture and make use of big data. The ability to harness real-time, highly granular data across a wide range of city operations and services is changing the way the urban environment is managed and experienced. However, before cities can fully enter the big data era, city managers must address some critical challenges, according to the report, particularly the lack of appropriate skills among city government employees.