Smart cities and the future of cities, February 2016
Cities are the engine room of the economy. They provide the setting to facilitate economic activity, innovation and a cohesive, prosperous society. However, at no other point in history have our cities been under pressure like they are at present. Climate change, scarcity of resources, an ageing often overloaded physical infrastructure, population growth, changing demographics, fiscal stress, competition from other cities and increased community expectations are tearing at the fabric of our urban environments.
Cities are complex ecosystems of activity set within a matrix of physical infrastructure, business and human interaction. More than 70% of Australians now live in a city. Across the world more people live in cities (54%) than rural areas (46%) and the UN forecasts this to increase to 66% by 2050.
So it is hardly surprising that political and business leaders, together with communities, are now keenly focusing on looking for new, more effective ways to create more prosperous, efficient, liveable and sustainable urban environments. Cities are embracing the significant advancements in information and communications technology to assist in meeting their objectives. In other words, cities are looking to become smarter. But what does this mean?
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