By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will reside in our cities – a rapid migration which will push our urban centers to their seams and expanding our current industrial and residential infrastructures beyond their breaking points.
Cities can be built to be more efficient, sustainable and liveable in both the short and long term. These “Smart Cities” will use technology improve living conditions in cities, decrease carbon emissions and improve the quality of life for all that live there.
A city can be defined as ‘smart’ when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory action and engagement. (Caragliu et al. 2009)
This will not be easy! Local governments, investors, industry suppliers, NGOs, utilities, planners, developers, and global technology providers must join forces to deliver the benefits of smart cities. Additionally, smart systems are the cornerstone of a smart city. Data, technology and integration will provide the means necessary to operate cities in a more efficient and effective way.
A great example of a smart city is being built in Berlin today at the EUREF-Campus office and science location. This campus includes multiple mass transit options, protected heritage buildings right next to modern highly energy efficient buildings, a mixture of renewable energy and intelligent energy supply, innovative community interactions and a program to make the campus an attractive environment for work and well being.
So what is a good place to start? Smart Cities can be built effectively and efficiently in five steps
- Setting the Vision
- Bringing in the Technology
- Working on the Integration
- Adding Innovation
- Driving Collaboration
You can read more details about each of these steps in the white paper “The Smart City Cornerstone: Urban Efficiency”.