Considering transforming your metropolis into a smart city? Smart thinking!
While a century ago, living in rural areas and traveling into the “big city” for a day of business or leisure was just as common as living in the bustling metropolis itself (if not more so), today, more and more people are leaving small towns and suburbia, sacrificing square meterage and abundant greenery, and becoming “city mice.” So much so that is predicted that by 2050, approximately 70% of the world’s population will live in cities.
As cities continue to grow and become more densely populated, it is up to the municipalities to ensure that the quality of life within their bounds is upheld and even improved. Transforming their cities into smart cities is the future-forward way for municipalities of all shapes and sizes to manage the influx of residents and visitors, make better use of local resources, and drive efficiency throughout the city’s activities and operations.
Let’s explore the top benefits of becoming a smart city.
#1 – Data-driven decision making
Cities are hosts for a wealth of information on everything from traffic and weather conditions to trending citizens’ interests and demands. Using the latest technological innovations, such as Big Data and the Internet of Things, to collect relevant data and analyze it to generate actionable insights, which you can, then use to make smarter decisions, in real-time. Doing so will enable your city to provide an enhanced quality of life across service areas, with fewer human resources spent on the legwork.
#2 – Economy of monetary and environmental resources
The initial investment needed to integrate and assimilate smart city infrastructure and technology is a drop in the bucket compared to the return on investment you will secure once it is up and running. It is estimated that smart city technologies could save businesses, governments, and citizens over $5 trillion each year by 2022, across the globe, as related innovations in the fields of artificial intelligence, data sharing, connectivity, analytics, etc., significantly enhance the efficiency of city operations. This, while identifying the causes of pollution and other environmental adversaries, and harnessing the information culled to create more environmentally-friendly structures and solutions that reduce the city’s carbon footprint like never before.
#3 – Enhanced citizen engagement
Smart city technologies are making it easier for citizens to connect and communicate with municipal authorities – and each other. Not only do engagement-generation solutions such as mobile apps, interactive maps, self-service portals, and other collaboration tools increase citizens’ interaction with the city, but it also creates a more positive user experience than say, waiting on hold with a customer service representative to find out why the water’s been shut off, or when the library is open to the public. As such, it is clear that becoming a smart city is key in increasing your city’s attractiveness, and will be instrumental in driving more and more people to choose your city as their place of dwelling, work, or leisure.
#4 – Safer cities
The same technology capable of informing your municipality about city occurrences and preferences can be leveraged to promote a safer community environment. Connected cloud platforms can enable city law enforcement officials to access city video camera footage in real-time, and other innovations, such as license plate recognition technology, body cameras, and next-generation 9-1-1 (NG911) services that enable citizens to send texts, photos, videos, and more to dispatchers are successfully nabbing perps, and even deterring crime altogether! While some concerns regarding data privacy remain, privacy by design, which calls for embedding privacy into organizations’ processes and procedures from the outset, is helping to secure citizens’ data, while keeping them secure, on a daily basis.
#5 – New business opportunities
Savvy businesses understand the benefits of operating out of smart cities and flock to them like cattle to a watering hole. This is because the smarter infrastructure lowers their operating costs, enabling them to increase their profit margins and expand the offering to meet even more customer demands. As such, becoming a smart city is a key reducer of local unemployment and a significant catalyst of economic growth and prosperity, across all industries and fields, especially within the private sector.
Ready to become a smart city? Highroad can help!
Becoming a smart city is the smartest investment you can make in your city’s future. At Highroad, we know that the initial adoption and execution process can seem overwhelming, but partnering with the right smart city and urban tech solution providers can make the transition as seamless and as effective as possible. Our portfolio companies are some of the most promising innovators in the smart city and urban mobility space, having developed key technologies and solutions to make your city more informed, efficient, engaging, and socially responsible than ever before. Visit our website to learn all about them, and get started on your smart city journey today!