Technology related to so-called smart cities—information and communication technologies—will total $108 billion between 2010 and 2020, according to Pike Research.
By 2020, annual smart city investment will almost hit $16 billion a year.
Pike Research acknowledged that smart cities are “at a nascent stage,” but pilots are beginning to pick up. These pilots may become templates for cities in Asia and the Middle East. Smart city frameworks will be overlays for older cities in North America and Europe.
According to Pike Research, a smart city is defined as “the integration of technology into a strategic approach to sustainability, citizen well-being, and economic development.” The connections and integration between a city’s parts are what makes it a smart system of systems.
These smart city technologies will be increasingly critical as more people move to urban areas. In its executive summary Pike Research noted:
For the first time in human history, more people live in cities than in rural areas and in the next 20 years the urban population will grow from 3.5 billion to 5.0 billion people. The social, economic, environmental, and engineering challenges of this transformation will shape the 21st century. The lives of the people living in those cities can be improved – and the impact of this growth on the environment reduced – by the use of “smart” technologies that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of urban systems.