India will have to accommodate another 700 million city dwellers over the next 20 years, which has led its government to announce plans to set up two smart cities in every state.
Microsoft knew the buildings on its 500-acre campus were incredibly energy-inefficient, but its engineers didn't care for the $60 million-plus estimate for a traditional fix or the disruption it would cause. So with dedication, the help of a few vendors and off-the-shelf Microsoft software, a company engineering team came up with a solution that is now saving millions in energy costs.
Vancouver, B.C. city staff has laid out a $30 million smart cities plan for the city council that includes expanding the city's open data program, providing access to city services through digital platforms and providing an 'incubator' for digital businesses in the community.
Cologne, Germany, and IBM recently completed a smart traffic pilot that yielded surprisingly accurate predictions of traffic flow and volume.
IBM and its partner Element Blue have launched a custom water management platform in the South African city of Tshwana where they're recruiting citizens to help evaluate and report on the status of water distribution.
David Bartlett, VP of Smarter Buildings for IBM, is very clear on several points. Among them: One of the best ways to build smarter cities is to start with smarter buildings. But he says that's something we're not doing very well – yet.
The executive director of UN Women told a forum on cities against poverty that technology is significantly supporting initiatives to make cities safer places. And she brought some issues to the discussion not often heard in smart cities discussions: women's participation and equal rights.
The city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Boston University are working with IBM to find new, smarter solutions to persistent urban challenges, including traffic congestion and streetlight management, energy efficiency, major event coordination, and water/sewer and airport management and maintenance.
Smart cities are the "biggest market for IT in the world," according to Joe Dignan, chief European public sector analyst for tech research and analysis firm Ovum. And he has a lot more to say about smart city initiatives and why the smart cities market is so strong at a time when so many others are not.
The number of cities establishing open data programs is growing quickly as city governments realize how beneficial they can be for managing their operations, identifying and correcting problems and encouraging citizen engagement. Read our story from Smart Cities Week Washington, D.C. to learn more.