Estimates of the smart cities market vary widely. The one constant is a universal expectation of substantial growth. New cities will be built and existing ones will be retrofitted to create economic development and improve the lives of citizens.
According to ABI Research, smart cities technology is an $8.1 billion market today, and in five years, the market will grow to almost five times that size, reaching $39.5 billion. Pike Research forecasts that investment in smart city technology infrastructure will total $108 billion during the decade from 2010 to 2020. The Smart 2020 report is even more bullish, claiming that related technologies and industries will grow four-fold to become a $2.1 trillion market by 2020. Although projections vary as to which technologies they include under the smart city “umbrella”, they all agree there is a significant and rapidly growing market.
While many smart city programs have been demonstrated to be advantageous for cities, others have been less-than-successful and have often become financially challenged. Many ‘intelligent’ cities originally focused themselves on becoming ‘smart’ cities. According to Smart Cities Council (SCC — globally active since 2012), “Smart cities are those cities which have smart physical, social, institutional and economic infrastructure while ensuring centrality of citizens in a sustainable environment.” Unfortunately, while many smart city initiatives were well founded, they often came up short of original expectations and failed to be delivered in a timely and economic fashion. The lack of timely and adequate “collaboration between smart technology vendors, funding, citizen engagement and education/training” has been shown to be primary weakness areas.
Minimizing funding issues
Intelligent Cities and Communities Transformation (ICCT) programs and initiatives enable the timely and adequate “funding, engagement and education/training” of individuals, technology developers and services providers, business and institutional representatives, government administrators, consultants, experts, advisors, ICCT professionals, community members and ecosystems such as those supported by SCC, ICC and ARCHIBUS Federated Eco-System (AFE — active for over 30 years with currently over 8 million members who have saved their organizations over $5 trillion in over 190 countries). Simply stated, participation in ICCT programs and initiatives will help minimize funding issues as well as bureaucratic and political challenges.
Mastering urbanization, ubiquitization
The mastering of urbanization and ubiquitization will be two of the key areas to be addressed by ICCT programs and initiatives for thousands of years and countless generations to come. By effectively mastering these areas, many political, social, economic, cultural and faith-centered challenges can be addressed and resolved.
Ubiquitization is enabling data, information, knowledge and wisdom to exist, integrated, refined and available everywhere (distributed in a controlled and secure environment), especially at the same time; omnipresent. Meanwhile, the rapid rate of urbanization has become a central challenge and concern for most cities. The pace of migration from the rural areas and towns to the cities has been and continues to be increasing and has become a significant challenge and concern for cities around the globe. Increased demands on infrastructures such as transportation, water, telecommunications, energy/electricity, environmental sustainability, healthcare, education, institutions and e-government have become economically, politically, and socially challenging and often overwhelming.
According to Bruce K. Forbes, President/CEO and founder of ARCHIBUS, “Based on urbanization trends and the analysis of smart city track records thus far, it is only a through smart city’s evolution and/or revolution into an ‘intelligent city with intelligent communities’ will a city be able to create best-of-class liveable and productive environments for its citizens and visitors. Intelligent cities fortunately will be able to utilize intelligent-enterprise information modelling as an enabler of the creation and sharing of ubiquitous big data and quad-directional connectivity which makes data, information, knowledge and wisdom readily available and understandable for anyone who wants and needs them.”
It has become apparent that the facilitation of successful urbanization migrations has been limited. As a result, programs and initiatives such as those related to ICCT are enabling cities to address “limitation-related-issues of urbanization” in a timely, effective and economic manner.
Prioritization by intelligent cities
While in many smart cities, risk management, environmental sustainability and economic development have been cited in politically-motivated statements of grandeur, they have in reality taken on a lesser position in the priorities and funding of the day. For intelligent cities, these must be and will be front and center in the development and deployment of ICCT programs and initiatives.
The advancement and mastering of the integration and interoperability of institutional, political, business, physical, faith, social and economic related practices, policies and infrastructures are also critical. The ICCT programs and initiatives typically address thousands of areas, such as, gainful and career-enabling employment that enables high-quality living and high-quality jobs and helps gross national product growth and sustainability at the local, regional, national and global levels. Also addressed are timely and economically optimized physical, social, faith and institutional practices, policies and infrastructure advancements related to areas such as:
- Affordable high speed telecommunications and information technology
- Dependable security and life safety ecosystems
- Economically supported sports and recreation activities and facilities
- Energy and electricity supply and management
- Entertainment and faith related community enablement
- Environmental sustainability and risk management including areas such as pollution control
- High quality housing which is affordable, accessible and reasonable. And many more.
Engines for economic & GDP growth
Urban areas typically contribute a higher share of a city’s or nation’s GDP than rural areas. As urbanization occurs, GDP in intelligent cities should be positioned for sustainability and growth. Such positioning should reflect the needs and opportunities identified, with appropriate input and governance, through a wide variety of best-of-class social, political, cultural and economic development programs and initiatives that need to be continuously facilitated through the participation of “intelligent” individuals, communities and organizations.
According to AFE members and affiliates, such facilitation is optimized through the use of intelligent city and community transformations programs and initiatives. Because the facilitation and mastery of urbanization requires a balance between individual, institutional, business and government activities, ICCT programs and initiatives enable remarkable enhancements of capabilities, timely responses, and have become primary engines for economic and GDP growth and sustainability. ICCT programs and initiatives are typically empowered by intelligent-enterprise information modelling apps, frameworks, extensions and activities.
- Competitiveness and best-of-class positioning refers to a city’s ability to: create intelligent employment, best-of-class products and services, and high quality ways-of-life opportunities; and, attract and universally sustain intelligent city and community transformation interest and participation by individuals, technology developers and services providers, business and institutional representatives, government administrators, consultants, experts, advisors, ICCT Professionals, community members and ecosystems.
- High quality of ways-of-life includes the optimal facilitation of safety and security, community inclusiveness by interested individuals, entertainment, sports and recreation programs, faith and religious programs, ease of seeking and obtaining public services, cost efficient and high quality healthcare, quality and ready availability of education and training, Ubiquitous Big Data access and transparency, accountability and opportunities for participation in governance policies and administrations.
- Risk mitigation and sustainability includes social sustainability, environmental sustainability and financial sustainability and enables economic, political, social, faith, and intelligent individual/community ecosystem growth.
Intelligent evolutions for cities
ICCT institutional infrastructures refer to the activities that relate to governance, planning and management of a city. The older technologies associate with smart cities, such as ICT and IOT which provided limited transparency, accountability, efficiency and citizen-centric interfaces, have been blended into and expanded upon with more comprehensive, financially self-funded and robust/powerful ICCT Technologies such as Intelligent-Enterprise Information Modelling (I-EIM).
I-EIM enables Ubiquitous BIG Data and Quad-directional Connectivity to become available for both the most casual users and the most advanced users. ICCT Institutional Infrastructure Solutions include the participatory and crowd sourcing systems that enable best-of-class standards, governance, e-government, and many other institution frameworks the ensure best-of-class life styles, the sense of safety and security and the opportunities for creativity and innovation as well as contributions to a city’s GDP monitoring.
Cities which desire to participate in the ICCT Transformation Programs and Initiatives should develop financing plans along with their smart city financial development, deployment and sustainability management plans. With ICCT programs and initiatives, multiple levels and types of government agencies and departments should be asked to be involved with the various short-term, intermediate and long term/evergreen financial planning frameworks.
As part of the ICCT program and initiatives, the city should develop a strategic and operational investment and financing strategy that identifies projects, programs and initiatives which are amenable to innovative and sustainable financing such as accessing bond markets or structuring Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects as vehicles for obtaining additional resources from the a variety of sources In some cases ICCT Programs and Initiatives will enhance the financial resource pools via the following actions:
- Levying user fees and charges for utilities to reflect O&M, OPEX, TCO, ROI and capital investment costs
- Property, building and/or asset value based taxation and surcharges
In addition to the budgetary resources available with various levels of government, resources would need to be leveraged for the sector from both domestic and overseas investors. This is especially important when evaluating, designing, deploying and managing programs designed to increase GDP and Bond Ratings and reducing interest rates on monies obtained via development loans. The pooling of monies from commercial and non-commercial sources would allow for reduction in borrowing costs and enable the lengthening loan durations.