Mayors shed light on nationwide smart city trends

Everyone “knows” that the large technological innovations are happening in Silicon Valley. And if any place is going to become a “smart city”–with self driving cars everywhere, connected and optimized traffic lights, and high speed tube transportation–all while being completely run on solar and wind energy, it’s obviously going to be Silicon Valley. Where else could it be? Well its seems there are several small to mid-size cities that could answer that question.

According to this study, mid-size cities have been flying under the radar with their technological progress. In fact mid-size cities dominate the smart city industry. Of the +350 current smart city projects, mid-size cities are responsible for 168 of them. And of the 459 planned projects–mid-size cities once again top off at 225 of them. These numbers are much greater than the 69 and 103 projects large cities have and will have under their belt. Goes to show the shift of technological focal points in the world. Then, to break down the situation even further, you can look at what is driving these smart city projects. It seems that smart city tech has created this image of meaning LED lights and/or connected public kiosks only. But that of course is not the case.

According to the study, the majority of the projects were driven towards governance improvements. Not as attractive as LED lights but still very important and impactful if done right. After governance, the second strongest force driving these smart city projects is mobility and transportation. This idea more directly affects the public and makes sense that it is high on the list. Same can be said for the last one, physical infrastructure. All three of these factors intertwine and depend on the implementation of smart technology in order to progress.

Contributor: Avery Griffin