Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Smaller Smart Cities Setting the Pace of Innovation

The ongoing tendency of the world population towards large urban centres is a known trend, with predictions estimating that approximately 75% of the world’s population will reside in cities by the year 2050. This staggering population growth can result in urban overcrowding in a massive scale, and this could potentially offset the current economic development, especially in countries like India and China where the fast pace of economic development is accompanied by an equally fast pace of urbanisation.

The major companies working on smart city development, such as IBM, consider smaller cities a great solution to this potential pitfall, and additionally a great opportunity for development. In rapidly developing countries such as India, managing  population growth by directing new city-dwellers away from the massive urban centers and out to smaller cities can help continue the nation’ s economic successes. By steering population overflow into smaller cities built with structures that feature efficient technologies, the country is able to avoid the challenge of updating and adapting the existing, and often aging, infrastructure of its major cities to accommodate growing populations. These smaller smarter cities run on systems that are effective, environmentally secure and allow city officials to monitor dozens of data feeds, in order to anticipate the community’ s needs.

For example, Kochi (pictured), one of the smaller but fast growing cities in India has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years due to the development of tourism, manufacturing, shipbuilding, seafood and spices exports, and IT industries. IBM has been working with clients in the region to provide advanced technologies and services to aid their business growth and bring new efficiencies.  By building the infrastructure to give local businesses the technology they need, smaller cities such as Kochi have been able to fast track innovative ideas while harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in a smaller city.

The entire article is available on the Smarter Planet blog, here.