Smart city technology is already showing how key it is to tackling the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sector as a whole will be central to rebuilding and recovery.
It was not quite "Christmas is cancelled" but the Scottish First Minister’s comments this week that we will have to mark the festive season a little differently this year underlined just how pervasive coronavirus will be in our lives for some time to come.
We’ve seen several examples this week of the smart cities sector’s ongoing attempts to adapt to this new way of living and provide solutions. One such example is from Aden Group and Dassault Systèmes, which is using digital twin technology to help create a turnkey smart hospital solution to fight infectious diseases. It offers a virtual environment for collaboration that can lead to hospitals being designed and operational within 100 days.
Smart city accelerators are also shifting online to stage demo days showcasing the likes of climate change and city resilience solutions. A big question for any sector is whether we will return to the large global conferences of old, a means to network, debate and explore companies’ products. The Urban-X and Techstars demo days are just one way these events can continue, just in a different format.
You will notice a different name at the bottom of this email. I’m Graeme Neill and took over as editor of SmartCitiesWorld this week. My background frequently overlapped with the smart cities industry given I spent almost five years with the telecoms technology title Mobile Europe.
My time as editor there coincided with tremendous change in the telecoms industry but it was nothing compared to the smart cities sector, especially now. Which is why I want to find out how coronavirus is shaping your world. Are you doubling down on existing projects? Prioritising resources elsewhere? Bedding in until our new way of life becomes more concrete? Or changing tack entirely to explore different kinds of solutions?
Overcoming the tragedy and challenges coronavirus is bringing is the biggest challenge facing any industry, any government, any one of us. As editor of SmartCitiesWorld, I want to explore how this sector can help us rebuild, plus explore the latest innovations across the globe.
And I want to hear from you. What are you doing and how are you doing it? What would you like to see from us? Please get in touch.