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First Global Review of Smart Cities Published

Future Cities Catapult have today released its first global review of smart city strategies at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. The report looks at 21 smart city strategies from around the world including New York, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Manchester.

The global market for smart cities is shifting, with Asia’s smart city market expected to grow from $50bn to $220bn by 2020. By 2050, the UN[1] projects an extra 2.5bn people will live in cities, with 90% of this growth coming from Asia and Africa. The report argues that understanding how smart cities are being developed from a global perspective is crucial to empowering both cities and industry to deliver the smarter cities that prosperity and sustainability require.

This Global Review charts the evolution in smart city strategies from technology-driven towards citizen-centred. It highlights the challenges in creating collaborative citizen-led strategies that can cope with a new wave of digital disruption as evidenced by apps such as Uber and Airbnb.

Produced with the support of Arup, the review provides city leaders with an analysis of what leading cities are doing to create smart city strategies that are suited to their needs, and how they are structuring themselves to deliver these strategies within difficult, complex environments. Based on the research, the review makes the following five recommendations for city governments:

  1. Establish strong leadership to develop skills and capacity within local government to initiate and deliver at-scale smart city projects
  2. Embed your smart city strategy within existing statutory frameworks in order to ensure the strategy’s implementation and funding
  3. When creating your smart city strategy, consider a collaborative approach, coupled with strong political support, to ensure that you harness your citizens’ and businesses’ capabilities and respond to their needs
  4. Tap into core city funding by regularly scanning your existing city assets and budgets in order to leverage these for smart city projects
  5. Create a plan for private sector engagement and long-term collaboration, as well as a designated person or team for communicating with businesses and investors.

Jarmo Eskelinen, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Future Cities Catapult, reinforced the need for city leaders to learn from each other:

“At Future Cities Catapult we believe that creating positive transformation on the ground requires strategies for dealing with the reality of cities. We created this report to give city leaders a head start on how they can learn from the experience of those cities that have been developing smart city strategies for years, and those that have only just started.”

Steve Turner, Smart Cities Lead at Arup, emphasised the role that this learning will have in creating better performing, more competitive cities:

“City authorities are at the core of digital transformation. Their ability to be the fulcrum between articulating citizen need and engaging technology providers, will be key in determining overall city competitiveness. This research will help authorities around the world to create strategies that enable them to fulfil this critical role.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The first Global Review of Smart City Strategies is available here:

Headshots of Jarmo Eskelinen available here.

For further information or media requests please contact Naomi Moore: nmoore@futurecities.catapult.org.uk / 07718 584331

About Future Cities Catapult                                                                      

Future Cities Catapult exists to advance innovation, to grow UK companies, to make cities better. We bring together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face, now and in the future. This means that we catalyse and apply innovations to grow UK business and promote UK exports.

From our Urban Innovation Centre in London, we provide world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.

We help innovators turn ingenious ideas into working prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. Then, once they’re proven, we help spread them to cities across the world to improve quality of life, strengthen economies and protect the environment.

Follow us on Twitter @futurecitiescat or sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our news.

About Catapult centres

The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The Catapults network has been established by Innovate UK. For more information visit catapult.org

About Arup

Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. With over 80 offices in 35 countries Arup has more than 13,000 planners, designers, engineers and consultants delivering innovative projects across the world with creativity and passion. www.arup.com

[1] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014).

World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights

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