Making cities smarter

1 min read

Cities are getting busier, and growing faster.

This rate of growth is so astounding that London is described as merely ‘inching forward’ with only nine new residents an hour, compared to double that number in São Paulo and over 70 in Delhi, Lagos and Dhaka. With growth on that scale it means that London alone will accommodate one million more people by 2030. 

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, this urban growth links directly to the added issues of ageing western populations, lagging productivity and increasing consumer expectations.

These issues may be complex, but the question they raise is simple: how do we prepare our cities for the changes that are coming by making them efficient, resilient and responsive to our needs. In short: how do we make our cities smarter as they grow? 

As an industry this is a question that we should have an answer for already.

Technology and modern methods of construction have the power to transform buildings, transport networks and how our cities perform.

With 70% of the global population reportedly due to live in cities by 2050, not only is this revolution unavoidable, but it will be a revolution with incredible benefits for developers, asset owners and consumers alike.

It's no wonder that this year MIPIM's theme is Mapping World Urbanity.

The solution is - quite literally - to get smart. But before we can do that we need to realise that many of the smart technologies are relatively new and complex, and for them to succeed they need the right conditions to grow and mature.

The key lies in preparation, and the time for preparation is now.

We need to prepare for smart transport, decide what technologies our buildings will be using and thinking about how we build in passive provision for them right now. We need to address the skills we will need to deliver this vision for the future and the effect this future will have on the wellbeing of the people living in it. 

Our upcoming Insights report: 'Making cities smarter' will bring together world-leading industry experts to share their perspectives on what this transformation will look like and what business need to be thinking of now to be ready for the opportunities that lie ahead.

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