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Konstantinos Antonopoulos
last week
Konstantinos Antonopoulos
Marketing Manager

The movement to make cities smarter is transforming municipal governments worldwide. But that’s only one side of the story. For companies, smart cities represent major business opportunities — and not only for tech firms selling systems to government agencies.

Technology is reconfiguring traditional roles and divisions of labor. City governments don’t have to provide every type of application and service themselves. In fact, they can’t — and this realization opens the door for other entities with capital and capabilities to step in, particularly where there may be opportunities to generate revenue. Smart cities have become more intricate ecosystems over time, with the degree and mix of private-sector participation varying from city to city.

Even if they don’t become providers of systems or services, many companies will need to adapt in some way as cities become more digitally connected. Digitization has upended industry after industry — and now, as it begins to transform the environments that will be home to two-thirds of the world’s population by 2030, there is good reason to brace for another wave of disruption.

Weighing the three questions below can help business leaders prepare for this shift.

Judit Urquijo
last week
Judit Urquijo
Content curator

SynchroniCity is a European initiative that seeks to build a global IoT marketplace for sharing digital services that improve the lives of citizens and grow local economies.

They have just opened a call for proposals with a budget of €3 million for projects related to IoT (read well what topics are included and the beneficiary cities). You have until September 30th

LABCITIES
2 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Articles about technology and the future of transportation rarely used to get far without mentioning jetpacks: a staple of science fiction from the 1920s onwards, the jetpack became a reality in the 1960s in the shape of devices such as the Bell Rocket Belt. But despite many similar efforts, the skies over our cities remain stubbornly free of jetpack-toting commuters.

For a novel form of transport to make a material difference to our lives, several key requirements must be satisfied. Obviously the new technology must work safely, and operate within an appropriate regulatory framework. But public acceptance and solid business models are also vital if a new idea is to move from R&D lab to testbed to early adoption, and eventually into mainstream usage.

There's inevitably a lot of hype surrounding the future of transportation, but also plenty of substance, with big investments being made both by disruptive tech companies and by incumbent industry players. Can technology help to get us and our goods around quicker, in greater safety, and with less damage to the planet?

Bart Gorynski
3 weeks ago
Bart Gorynski
Smartivist | @bee smart city

Cities should see investment in smart city initiatives, whether technologically-enabled or not, as an investment first and foremost in the people, and the future, of the city. The economic benefits, as demonstrated, are multiple - but they should be the outcome, not the motivation, of a smart city vision.

Around the world, cities are growing. Already, roughly 180,000 people move into cities every day. By 2015, the UN estimates that there will be 22 metropolitan areas with populations of more than 10 million people. Growing urban populations mean more costs for cities - from increasing energy use, to overstrained public services - but they also provide a stimulus for innovation. After all, we can’t infinitely expand outwards and upwards. Instead, we need to find ways to be more ‘efficiently urban’: in other words, we need to be smarter with how we use our resources, time and capital.

Smart city initiatives are crucial here: they transform the problems provoked by rapid urbanizat...

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LABCITIES
last month
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

The world is rapidly urbanizing. The United Nations predicts that the number of people living in cities could double by 2050 — to 6.5 billion.

To accommodate growing populations, cities like Paris, New York, and Tokyo are building more housing and public resources, including parks, schools, and subways, as part of large redevelopment plans.

These cities will likely look very different (and in some neighborhoods, gentrified) in the coming decades. Take a look at some of the biggest urban projects under construction below.

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