Open data platforms, connectivity and analytics set to be key drivers
The positive impact of smart city technologies on economic development could see cities locking in incremental growth of over 5 per cent and driving more than $20 trillion in additional economic benefits over the coming decade.
These are the findings of a new whitepaper by ABI Research which analyses the impact smart city technologies could have on economic development and GDP growth by 2026.
According to the Roles of Smart Cities for Economic Development, report economic development should be treated as an “uber” benefit, indirectly linked to factors conducive to attract and maintain economic activity within cities, such as security, and livability.
Using GDP growth as a key metric, the white paper, commissioned by InterDigital on behalf of its smart cities-focused business, Chordant, highlighted the following three dimensions or phases set to be impacted by smart city technologies over the course of the next decade, these include:
“These recent findings further emphasise the importance of technology as a driver for economic development in our future smart cities,” said Jim Nolan, executive vice president, Chordant, at InterDigital.
“The benefits are clear: trillions in incremental GDP growth will significantly transform the way we live and how our cities operate. But it’s not as simple as deploying technology and hoping it sticks. Cities will have to become strategic in the way they deploy smart city technology to ensure that it maximises its potential.”
The report noted that to operationalise and capture these economic benefits, cities must begin preparation and investment now. In particular, the recommendations from the report suggest that smart city strategies must be optimised based on detailed guidelines and checklist tools. These include:
In addition to this, the report identified both economic growth and technological drivers for economic development in a smart city. On economic growth, factors such as a business-friendly environment, skilled workforce and political stability were cited. On technology drivers, areas included:
“Next-generation smart city technologies like AI, blockchain, and closed-loop infrastructure will accelerate future growth by transforming the economy into cognitive, self-governing entities,” added Dominique Bonte, vice president, markets, ABI Research.
“Distributed ledgers and other financial instruments will allow citizens to seamlessly participate in a networked, all-in economy characterised by frictionless cross-vertical collaboration, transparent commerce, and new forms of employment, driving unseen levels of innovation and urban value creation. Cities will be the catalysts of this emerging new economy which will be both scalable and sustainable.”
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