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People of the nation are shifting into urban areas which is encouraging citizens, city planners, businesses, and governments to start looking at visions of ‘smart’ cities. Let’s have a look at the smart city anatomy to understand more.

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Dieter Hovorka

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People are shifting into urban areas which is encouraging citizens, city planners, businesses, and governments to start looking at visions of ‘smart’ cities. We can observe this trend over centuries, in 1800 only 3% of the world population was living in cities. We have seen an increase to 29% of earth population living back in 1950 in urban areas, a massive explosion in development. Back in 2008, we reached the first time 50% of all world population living in urban areas. By 2040 we expect more than 65% of people will live in cities. All this facts and more we can read in great infographic put together from the team of Postscapes. The Smart City Anatomy has changed a lot since this times, no doubt on this.

“The 19th century was the century of empires, the 20th century was a century of nation states and the 21st century will be the century of cities.” – Former Denver Mayor W.Webb

The world is urbanized and we see 1.3 million people on a weekly base moving into cities. The results are MEGACITIES with more than 10+ million people. We count as of today 21, Tokyo leading with over 35+ million people. If we look a little back in time we find 1975 only 3 cities above 10+ million, New York, Tokyo, and Mexico City.

Mega Cities explosion

Because of this trend by 2025, we expect the number to rose up to 29, five new megacities in Asia, two in Latin America, and one in Africa. You ask yourself what is happening in Europe and North America? Well, the city development slows down here and more cities grow on a smaller scale rather than into megacities. A Smart City Anatomy of such a mega city has to significantly improve compared to a city. Development into megacities is, of course, a challenge in itself. We can also see the rise of cities above 1+ million people. Due to this trend, we could see in 2011 over 500+ cities above 1 million people. Furthermore, China alone will have by 2025, 221 cities above 1+ million. The influence on the economy is clear. 60% of the global GDP is produced in the top urban areas. As a result of this development, this number will grow in the future to 80%. Environmental impact is programmed, 60-80% of the annual energy needs are wasted in cities. Lighting alone represents 19% of the world’s total electricity consumption. The need for a smart city concept could have here a great impact for better living standards. Alternative energy, energy saving lighting and investing in this R&D are core drivers.

Having mentioned all of the above the message is clear to all of us

The need of SMART CITY ANATOMY finds itself driven by SENSORS, NETWORKS, and ENGAGEMENT which will result in real-time URBAN INFORMATICS. With the combination of low power sensors, wireless networks, and web and mobile-based applications, Smart City Anatomy has been defined. The measurement of your city as a platform is the ultimate goal. All of it we will lead together in the better environment, more safety, smart transportation, smarter utilities, and smarter buildings. In the infographic, you can read more about initiatives which are driven by companies like or Geiger Maps JP, streetline, IBM, and nest. Each of them illustrates a need which was resolved.

What is the anatomy of a smart city?

The shadow sides of megacities and their problems like slums are also mentioned in the graphic. Slums where access to clean water is restricted, sanitation is not given, security is questionable, and housing might only be temporary. But still, we can find also a bright spot. People might not have access to a toilet, but access to communication and information is given through cell phones. Even in developing countries, this fact is a trend. In conculsion the outlook can be scary but also bright. While we look here into a $34 billion dollar business we have a leader as Cisco who sees potentials to save close to 30% of energy. IoT will be the future of smart cities. We can see it happening today all over the places in infrastructure, logistics, transportation and smarter information sensors. Let me know what you have witnessed and where you see the bright future. Which areas were not tackled? Leave your comments below and let’s have a good discussion about our future.
Smart City Anatomy Infographic

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