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10 Observations about Smart Cities’ State of Play

Smart City projects are moving from planning to implementation, with projects gaining traction, delivering concrete results, and knowledge and good practices spreading. As dozens of Smart City projects are underway around the world, ranging from relatively minor interventions to brand new cities built from scratch, it is worth taking a look at the current state of play in the field.

  1. Policymakers are getting more serious about smart cities.  Their understanding of the actual benefits which smart city projects can bring has improved much in recent years, though, and this greatly helps in pitching the initiatives to stakeholders and citizens.
  2. Investment cases differ. Ensuring investment for smart city projects can be hard due to various factors, so cities are developing various solutions such as smaller cities banding together to improve investments or knowledge transfer initiatives.
  3. Leading smart cities have common approaches. While smart city initiatives can be quite different, with each adapted to respond to different challenges, leading cities have some common themes such as high levels of political investment, a focus on people and not technology, an integrated strategy for the city, getting the key enablers in place first, and building at scale.
  4. PPPs are the dominant model. Public-private partnerships are emerging as the dominant models, as they allow government sponsors to share costs, investment risks and upside with private sector specialists.
  5. Revenue sharing models are proliferating. They are becoming more prominent as telcos and other players more closely integrate IoT networks with platforms and services to provide a one-stop shop for smart city sponsors.
  6. Data monetization models are still nascent, due to the time it takes to build out a pipeline of rich data sets, the need to productize those data sets and insights and then make customers familiar with the benefits of these data services.
  7. Data sharing is still a challenge, as the big data/machine learning algorithms that power smart city platforms aren’ t able to reach their maximum potential unless they can ingest an abundance of rich, high-quality datasets, which are not always made available.
  8. Smart city ecosystems will integrate more closely with emerging technologies in the following years, including 5G, autonomous vehicles, AI/machine learning, edge computing and blockchains.
  9. Open standards will become norm, reinforced by the need to have solutions which can nter-operate with other solutions and vendors, in the context of an increased standardization in the IoT/smart city space.
  10. Standardization efforts will gather steam. The last 12’“18 months has seen a significant shift in global thinking about the need for dedicated standards for smart cities. Smart city sponsors will increasingly make use of such standards when planning and implementing smart city projects.

The original article can be found on iot for all.