Smart cities are cities that leverage IoT devices like sensors, smart lights, and smart meters to gather data that can be analyzed to gain new insights regarding their infrastructure, population, and public services.
Few cities around the world have actually grown into truly “smart” cities — most are still in the early phases of implementing some of these IoT devices, and have yet to data processing and analysis tools that can turn vast troves of data from millions of devices into a real-time view of a city’s activity and operations.
The smart cities segment has enormous potential as a market for IoT solutions, but it is also an inherently slow-moving market. Smart cities development faces many barriers around the world including tight municipal budgets, sluggish technology procurement guidelines for public agencies, privacy and cybersecurity concerns, and a pressing need for more IT staff at municipal agencies. Taking the time to deploy new, futuristic technologies can also be a luxury that many municipal agencies charged with the day-to-day running of a metropolis can’t afford.
However, many cities are starting to address these challenges, and smart city development around the world is accelerating. In a new report, BI Intelligence contrasts the development of smart cities in different regions of the world. We examine the unique factors that are driving the growth of smart cities in different parts of the world. We also identify important barriers that still need to be overcome in different markets. We also detail some of the most common types of smart city projects in different regions, such as smart parking and transportation, smart energy and sustainability projects, and smart public safety initiatives, and delve into some examples of these projects.
Here are some key points from the report:
- Smart cities projects around the world are being shaped by local and regional socio-economic needs. This has led cities in different parts of the world to use similar IoT technologies for a wide array of different use cases.
- In the EU, environmental sustainability goals are driving cities to rapidly implement IoT technologies in an effort to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
- Cities in Central and South America are using sensors and other smart cities solutions to reduce road congestion and make their infrastructure more reliable in the face of extreme weather events like hurricanes and tropical storms.
- North American cities lag behind their EU counterparts in implementing smart cities solutions because of resource constraints, but are also finding ways to use IoT technologies to do more with less.
- Although smart city development in Africa is extremely nascent, new networking technologies like Low Power Wide Area Networks and the next-generation 5G networks will help provide the connectivity to get more smart cities projects off the ground on the continent.
- Asian countries are set to become the market leaders in smart city adoption, but still face challenges in training the IT talent to help municipal authorities manage smart cities projects.
In full, the report:
- Details the different types of smart cities technologies and applications that have become most prevalent in different markets around the world.
- Provides examples of some of the top smart city projects in different regions that address transportation, energy, crime, and other issues.
- Explains how unique social, political, and economic factors are impacting smart city development in different regions.
- Details factors that could help jumpstart smart city development in the Americas, Africa, and other parts of the world that have lagged behind comparable markets.
- Explains the unique barriers to smart city development in different parts of the world, such as data privacy concerns in Europe and lack of support from the federal government in the US.
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