What’s the biggest benefit of smart cities?

Smarter Office for Smart Business

Smart cities are stealing the headlines with promise of interconnectivity that will transform the way we live and work. Current, powered by GE conducted a Twitter poll during LIGHTFAIR International asking What do you think will be the biggest benefit from smart cities? The responses from over 800 people point to an array of advantages for urban centers that learn to leverage intelligent infrastructure to meet the needs of citizens:

 

 

 

• 15% said TRAFFIC & PARKING IMPROVEMENT…

By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities, according to a U.N. report. As this number grows, so will traffic and parking concerns. However, packed streets and predictable delays aren’t the only potential problems. An increase in idling vehicles and cars circling the block mean an increase in air pollution, too. With the ability to see real-time traffic patterns and identify available parking, intelligent transportation solutions—many of them using street lights to gain a “bird’s-eye” vantage—can transform roadway utilization for cities. From apps that show drivers precisely where to park to software designed to reduce traffic congestion, there is an expanding portfolio of options to get people where they’re going safely and efficiently. Take a moment to check out several innovative approaches at work today.

 

• 19% cite CITIZEN SAFETY…

Increasingly, emergency responders are gaining real-time views of what’s happening across the city, using data and analytics aimed at creating more secure environments. Gunfire-detection sensors, for example, can connect to emergency dispatch centers, enabling first responders to arrive on the scene quickly, apprehend offenders and better protect the community in an emergency. These alerts can be broadcast to patrol cars and public safety officials along with valuable situational intelligence, such as the precise location of the gunfire, number of rounds fired and whether there are multiple shooters. When sensors are broadly deployed across the city, the result is an actionable intelligence network that empowers emergency responders to collaborate in real time to protect citizens.

 

• 26% think DRIVING ECONOMIC GROWTH…

Can intelligent solutions boost tourism? In fact, cities are beginning to offer mobile apps that help travelers navigate their streets, reports the Smart Cities Council. An increasing number of cities are also creating web applications designed to help citizens find jobs, while others are giving local businesses a shout-out using smartphone capabilities to promote purveyors of goods and services. What’s clear is that cities are embracing the latest technology trends to attract entrepreneurs and workers who thrive in the digital world. Of course, identifying the solutions that will make cities more livable and workable is the easy part, while affording them is typically more challenging. The goal for many cities is to bring in new business that boosts the economy and creates more consumers, which in turn can help defray the cost of smart technologies. Check out how cities spark innovation from their local entrepreneurs, startups and universities at Current’s CityIQ™ Innovation Apps Center.

 

• And 40% identified ENERGY SAVINGS…

Cities account for 65% of global energy use and 70% of man-made carbon emissions, according to a 2016 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Such large numbers mean that every city has massive potential to cost-effectively reduce energy demands using technologies including combined heat and power systems, LED lighting and solar arrays. These solutions can provide big benefits for businesses and communities throughout cities, including less spending, cleaner air and improved living spaces. Furthermore, sophisticated cloud-based software platforms that can monitor energy consumption, trigger alerts and automatically produce reports can help cities meet environmental standards and manage this growing complexity with greater ease.

 

Considering the tangible ROI of many energy-saving measures, it’s no surprise sustainability ranked as the biggest potential benefit to smart cities in our survey. Equally encouraging, , however, is that 60 percent saw benefits beyond in the years ahead. What’s obvious is that people are thinking about smart cities in myriad ways, and intelligent infrastructure is enabling endless possibilities.

 

Learn how Current, powered by GE, is helping cities operate and communicate better every day.