“Smart” Cities and the Urban Digital Revolution

[Commentary] Advances in wireless sensor systems, information and communication technology, and infrastructure allow cities to collect and curate huge amounts of data capable of sustaining and improving urban life thanks to the new and ever-growing web of connected technology: The Internet of Things.

What does it take for a city to earn the “smart” moniker? Smart cities around the globe have many differences but importantly they share a few common traits. These cities invest in infrastructure and people in ways that lead to a more connected, better-informed and more-efficient environment. The dynamic use of knowledge to improve both the utilization of scarce resources and a higher quality of life for its citizens is the hallmark of a smart city. The challenges facing cities on the path to being “smart” are large and varied. It will require a new way of thinking -- akin to mastering a new language. Nevertheless, modern cities everywhere are moving in one inexorable direction: Toward a future where city governance and urban living will be as connected as the functions on your smartphone.

[Shawn DuBravac is the Chief Economist at the Consumer Electronics Association]

[Dec 31]


“Smart” Cities and the Urban Digital Revolution