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Majority of citizens positive about smart cities

The study finds that three-quarters of consumers believe smart cities will positively impact their lives when educated on the benefits

Smart cities drew a favourable response from citizens in major research project
Smart cities drew a favourable response from citizens in major research project

Three quarters of US citizens reckon smart city technology will have a positive impact on their lives with another two thirds (65 per cent) expressing interest in living with smart city technology, a new study finds.


The findings of the Smart Cities Consumer Research Study, conducted in partnership with Silver Spring Networks, Power Over Energy, and the US Department of Energy, were revealed at Smart Cities Week, Washington DC. More than 500 US consumers took part in the online study.


The vast majority of millennials (83 per cent) are the most positive about smart cities compared with only three-fifths of respondents aged 65+; half of all participants expect smart city technology to directly impact their daily life within the next three years.


What we found most interesting about the study is the younger generation’s desire to live in smart cities,” said Marina Donovan, vice president of marketing, Silver Spring Networks.


“Adoption rates of smart city technologies are quickly on the rise and the next big wave is upon us. There is clearly a need, and opportunity, to educate consumers of all age groups about the benefits and positive impacts of smart city technology.”


The study identified smart street lights as the most well-known smart city application with public safety considered to be the most important benefit of smart street lights.


Reducing pollution and improvements to public safety were considered the top two benefits, respectively, of smart city technology.


“In speaking with city leaders across the globe, we have found that understanding the needs and wants of their citizens around smart city technology is of utmost importance,” said Dan Evans, senior director, smart cities and street lighting, Silver Spring Networks.


“Our findings will help bolster the efforts that cities and utilities are championing, such as smart street lights -- the most well-known smart city application -- and reducing pollution and public safety, identified as the top two benefits of smart city technology in the study.”


Survey respondents were representative of the US Census, ranging from ages 18 to 65+ (52 per cent female, 48 per cent male), and from all areas of the country including New England, Mid Atlantic, Mountain, Pacific, South East, and various areas of central US.


A majority of respondents (47 per cent) lived in cities with populations of more than 100,000, 14 per cent of which currently reside in major metropolitan areas of more than one million people.


Silver Spring will be hosting a live Tweetchat on the topic of smart cities on Wednesday, 4 October 2017, beginning at 12pm ET. People are encouraged to participate in the Tweetchat by submitting questions and sharing commentary live by following the #SCWDC, #SmartCitiesWeek, and #SSNIchat hashtags.



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