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Smart Cities on the rise

Over the next 12 years, the number of Smart Cities in the world will quadruple. Recently, three cities have been selected to take part in a study project: Trento (Italy), Wuxi (China) and Guadalajara (Mexico)

November 2014

Smart Cities on the rise. Over the next 12 years, the number of Smart Cities in the world will quadruple. Recently, three cities in various parts of the world have been selected to take part in a study project: Trento (Italy), Wuxi (China) and Guadalajara (Mexico). IMA Lab

The United Nations has estimated that roughly half way through the year 2009 the number of people living in urban areas worldwide overtook the number of people living in rural areas. This reminds us of the need to rethink the way major cities are organized, finding the means to provide them with all the technologies necessary to improve their functional efficiency and reduce the negative aspects of the ever growing number of megacities (26 cities in the world currently count more than 10 million inhabitants).

Smart cities are highly developed urban areas which create sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government, sustained through the integration of information, communications and technology (ICT).

The perception of what makes a Smart City is emerging in response to an increasingly urbanized world that is constrained to deal with scarce resources and mushrooming populations. One spin-off of this situation is a growing desire to improve energy efficiency. By providing appropriate technologies and solutions, smart cities are better able to deal with issues such as congestion and energy waste, while also allocating stretched resources more efficiently and helping to improve quality of life. 

For instance, services such as public transport, energy provision or urban road networks are inevitably strained. Smarter solutions can be deployed to lessen the negative effects of poorly planned urbanization… such as the use of sensors to monitor traffic, or the implementation of smarter ticketing solutions to improve the use of public transport. 

Smart cities can also help achieve energy-efficient targets. London, for example, is retrofitting both residential and commercial buildings to lessen carbon dioxide emissions.
The city is also investing heavily in recharging infrastructure, to support the introduction of 100,000 electric vehicles.
For areas of the world where water is scarce, smart cities can allocate this precious resource, using sensors to manage water use or provide critical information on water-storage levels. In Santander, Spain, soil-humidity sensors detect when land requires irrigating, thus leading to more sustainable water use.

The number of cities worldwide qualified to be defined as Smart will quadruple within the next 12-years, and there will be at least 88 such cities all over the world by 2025, up from 21 in 2013. While the combined Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region represented the largest number of smart cities last year, Asia-Pacific will take over the lead by 2025, when it is estimated that Asia-Pacific will account for 32 smart cities, Europe 31, and the Americas 25.

Smart cities also can provide other benefits. They can generate new employment opportunities through the creation of projects, prevent citizens from moving away by improving quality of life within their jurisdictions, and reduce costs. In the case of cost reduction, cities are discovering the benefits of using light-emitting diodes (LED) for street lighting purposes… an area that often consumes as much as 40 percent of a city’s energy budget.


On 28th of July 2014, IEEE — the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity — announced that the municipalities of Trento (Italy) and Wuxi (China) had been selected to participate in the Smart Cities Initiative along with Guadalajara (Mexico), the initial participant city.
Chosen among hundreds of other candidates, due to their convincing plans to design sustainable smart cities in order to meet their citizens’ need for quality living environments, city planners from Trento and Wuxi will collaborate with a team of IEEE experts to explore the issues and address what’s needed for their growing urban populations.

“Being selected to participate in the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative is an honor, and collaborating with such an impressive community of experts will be of great benefit to Trento, which has always been attentive to its citizens’ needs,” said Mrs. Chiara Morandini, general manager, Trento Municipality.

“This collaboration will beneficially affect our existing political and operational strategies for improving the quality of life, which are focused on stimulating economic growth, improving social welfare, ensuring sustainable urban services and providing access to advanced technological innovations: all with the goal of creating a pleasant and healthy urban lifestyle and a harmoniously functioning community.”

 

References:

https://technology.ihs.com/507030/smart-cities-to-rise-fourfold-in-number-from-2013-to-2025

http://smartcities.ieee.org/home/ieee-selects-municipalities-wuxi-china-and-trento-italy-to-engage-in-ieee-smart-cities-initiative.html