The last few years witnessed an unprecedented trend of people moving to urban areas. Several reports show that at present, more people live in cities than in rural areas and it is estimated that by 2050, two out of every three people will be dwelling in metropolitan cities. This population growth brings many issues to cities including scarcity of resources, huge waste generation, environmental pollution, inefficient infrastructure, and public safety management.
Consequently, the focus of many governments and cities has shifted to the concept of sustainability. Sustainability can be achieved through innovations that concentrate on resilience, flexibility, efficiency, and adaptive capacity. Propelled by these factors, the idea of a smart city emerged in recent years to protect the environment, and make efficient use of the resources and infrastructure, thereby enhancing the quality of life of citizens.
A smart city utilizes information and communication technologies such as the Internet-Of-Things (IoT) and advanced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) so that its infrastructure and public services are more interactive, efficient, and optimized and people are more aware of them.
The smart cities market is growing at a stupendous rate at present. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global smart cities market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 25.2% during the forecast period, 2021-2030.
The surge in population, growing demand for smart infrastructure solutions and better resource management, growing demand for sustainable energy management, various government initiatives that support the implementation of smart energy solutions, and the growing need for public safety and security aid the development of the market.
Further, the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT applications in smart cities are anticipated to provide opportunities for the expansion of the market. Some of the trends driving the smart cities market have been identified.
6 Smart Cities Trends of 2022:
1. Smart Mobility
Concerns regarding pollution and traffic congestion have made the idea of smart mobility gain traction in recent years. Smart mobility or smart transportation makes use of technology to allow people and different transport systems to act in more efficient, flexible, and sustainable ways.
These technologies focus on intelligent traffic management, autonomous driving, congestion detection, logistics solutions, zero-emission transportation, advanced commuting, and so on. The tools like sensors that detect congestion and traffic patterns and cameras that enforce speed and traffic violations help gain real-time information that can make mobility networks safer and more resilient.
2. Public Safety & Security
The rise in criminal activities and accidents drives the demand for public safety and security infrastructure. Smart cities make use of sensors, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and intelligent video security cameras to enable public safety agencies to combat crime, handle emergencies, and anticipate incidents more efficiently. Technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence allow the deployment of smart solutions such as surveillance systems, crime mapping, and more.
3. Smart Energy
One of the basic goals of smart cities is to plan and control energy supply and consumption to maximize productivity as well as reduce energy costs and pollution. Smart devices and technologies enable judicious and efficient use of energy by providing decisions for smarter storage and distribution of energy. The use of smart grids allows real-time tracking and machine learning technologies provide data on energy use and system failure.
4. Waste Management
The growing issue of waste production drives the adoption of smart city solutions. Smart waste management systems utilize intelligent devices to accurately monitor the amount of waste around a city and enable the crew to empty bins before they overflow with trash. The devices also notify citizens about their waste consumption and encourage them with rewards.
5. Smart Building
Smart buildings are a key element of smart cities. By integrating a wide range of intelligent technologies such as IoT sensors, Power over Ethernet (PoE), building information modeling (BIM), AI, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and more in their systems, the buildings allow efficient and economical use of resources and create a safe and comfortable environment for the dwellers.
6. Water Management
The issue of global warming drives the need for efficient water management systems. Smart monitoring devices inform citizens about the amount of water consumption and increase awareness and reduce costs. Smart solutions also detect leaks as well as changes in water pressure to determine if water infrastructure is working properly and prevent issues at early stages.
Some Recent Developments Worldwide in Smart City Program:
- In September 2022, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the IT service management company introduced its smart city competency initiative. The program intends to connect cities that are seeking world-class AWS Partners that develop and accelerate smart city solutions that run on AWS.
- In August 2022, Hyundai Motor Group revealed the HMG Smart City master model at the 2022 World Cities Summit in Singapore. Based on the company’s vision for smart cities, the model represents a futuristic city that is linked by mobility solutions while coexisting in tune with nature. The model serves as a guideline for creating human-centered cities that sustain the natural environment and also provide advanced air mobility, and robotics, among others.
- Taiwan plans to develop smart city solutions for the global market by leveraging its expertise in IT hardware. The country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry would manage the development of smart city projects by integrating big data analytics and AI applications in public IoT.
- 5G Catalyst Technologies Co., Ltd., a leader in end-to-end 5G smart city, industrial and healthcare solutions has been chosen as a global excellence leader for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
- In 2019, the government of Indonesia placed 97 cities within the smart city program and aims to create 100 truly smart cities by 2045.
Smart City Examples
Seattle in North America boasts of a smart economy with a smart government along with various sustainability innovations. In Toronto, people enjoy the benefit of gaining access to real-time data on traffic congestion, water consumption, and public transit information energy through mobile and the web. Vienna is a city that aims to produce 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
In Amsterdam, the majority of trips are done by cycling or walking. Singapore is known to be one of the cleanest cities in the world due to its low carbon footprint. Japan is one of the largest renewable energy markets in the world. Hong Kong boasts of world-class information technology (IT) network infrastructure.
The 2022 smart cities trends report is full of insightful data and predictions that will help city planners, entrepreneurs, and citizens alike to understand the future of our cities. We would love to hear your thoughts on the trends in the comments section below. What do you think will be the biggest challenges and opportunities for smart cities in 2022? Are there any other trends that you would add to this list?