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Raconteur on Smart Cities

Raconteur, a London based publishing house, published a special report on “Smart Cities – Building the 21st century city” which was included in The Times newspaper on 1 June 2010.

From the report’s overview:

We are reaching a new state of connectedness in our homes, workplaces and the goods we buy. This creates “an internet of things’ ‘“ a digital overlay that provides opportunities for efficiencies across our cities. Aptly in this new age of coalition politics, many of these efficiencies will come from the joining together of sectors of the economy that up to now have been considered entirely separate.

Smart grids will allow our workplaces, homes, cars and even large infrastructure such as waste treatment or sewage plants to help power the city, for example, while “telepresence’ will ease pressure on traffic networks by facilitating face-to-face contact over the internet. A city’ s transport system ‘“ along with many other aspects of its infrastructure ‘“ cannot function effectively unless it is safe, so public security is increasingly important, while the advent of electric vehicles will require not just a whole new physical infrastructure of charging points but an equivalent IT network able to identify vehicles and ensure payment.

We can entirely rethink what a city is and how it works in new eco-developments such as Masdar in the United Arab Emirates and Dongtan in China. But most people will not be living in these new cities by 2050, so we have to transform existing cities, too.

There are many ways of doing this, but many cities are looking to a digital future to keep them competitive. Digital networks will not just transform public services ‘“ allowing NHS patients to be treated remotely, for example ‘“ but they will provide the basis for the new industries ‘“ media, biohealth, nanotechnology, clean energy ‘“ that so many of our cities believe can provide the backbone of their economies through the rest of the 21st century.


New vs Old
Whether you build an eco-city from scratch or try to make an existing one more sustainable, strong leadership is vital
Joined-up cities
A new digital overlay creating an “internet of things’ will lead to new opportunities to make cities smarter
Electric car infrastructure
Electric vehicles are set to hit the streets this year, but a whole new charging infrastructure is needed before they become mainstream
City case studies
There are many routes to the smart city. We highlight different initiatives from five cities around England
Major sporting events are a tried and tested way to revive urban areas. Where Manchester led the way, London and Glasgow are looking to follow
Driving efficiency
The smart city will drive economic growth in the private sector and provide the opportunity to improve public services
Smart buildings
Buildings that can generate their own energy and control their own environment can have a systemic effect in making cities more sustainable
Life in the smart city
The advent of smart city technology can make a big difference to how we live our lives ‘“ but for most people, the key concern is the economy

More info

Raconteur on Smart Cities – View or download the report