355 smart-city projects in 221 cities; 18% cut across industry ‘verticals’
There are 355 smart city projects in 221 cities, according to a new report from Navigant Research; almost one in five now cut across multiple industry sectors, as smart city integration gathers pace. The total value of the smart cities market will more than double in the next decade, from $40.1 billion in 2017 to 94.2 billion by the end of 2026.
According to the new analysis, almost twice as many smart-city projects are linked with the digitisation of government processes and government services as with any other sector. It calculates 37 per cent of the projects focus on government, 20 per cent on transportation, 16 per cent on energy, seven per cent on buildings, and two per cent on water.
The findings, revealed in Navigant’s latest smart city tracker, include cross-sector projects for the first time, a sign that cities and technology providers are at last overcoming challenges of technological and cultural interoperability, which has until now undermined the great evolutionary promise of smart cities. In total, 18 per cent of projects, or around 70, are multi-sector deployments, it said.
Smart city integration represents the first decisive step towards properly-intelligent ‘smart cities’, it might be argued, where city operations are inter-connected and entirely focused on sustainability. This new phase is sometimes dubbed ‘smart cities 2.0’. Enterprise IoT Insights published a report late last year, The building blocks of smart cities, that considered in detail this as failure of even the most well-regarded smart cities.
Street lighting is now considered the standard entry point for technologically minded cities, providing a platform to hang parallel smart city projects from, including environmental monitoring, security monitoring and traffic management.
On a regional basis, Europe is leading globally in terms of the number of smart city projects being pursued and the depth of multi-sector project integration (see chart). The number of cities engaged in smart city programmes has increased in North America during the past 12 months; the new analysis counts 55 new projects in cities in the US and Canada since the start of 2017.
There has been steady progress in every region, it notes, including Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Enterprise IoT Insights has already noted the progress of a number of smart cities under the radar, including Alba Iulia in Romania, Guadalajara in Mexico and Lyon in France.
Deployments have been driven mainly by street lighting, notes Navigant, as the most common application in both small-scale pilots and large-scale deployments. Street lighting is established as a workable platform for integrating digital functions from multiple city departments; San Diego in the US, among others, has used connectivity from AT&T and an IoT platform from GE to attach a sensor network to its LED lighting to enhance multiple operations.
Besides networked LED street lights, the research identifies smart parking systems, mobility solutions, air quality monitoring, and smart waste as familiar smart city applications. The full range of use cases also cover open data platforms, smart grid technologies, urban mobility, energy efficient buildings, water management, and government service applications.
Navigant said the global market for smart city solutions and services was worth $40.1 billion in 2017. Smart city market revenue is projected to grow to $94.2 billion by 2026, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.9 per cent.
Ryan Citron, senior research analyst with Navigant Research, said: “Cities are developing more innovative smart city programmes and deploying proven solutions at commercial scale. Projects that integrate data and insights across multiple operations and service sectors are also becoming more common.
“These developments are happening in all major world regions, with recent surges of interest in North America and Australia, further acceleration of the Indian smart cities programme, and continued development across Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.”
Navigant’s latest smart city tracker segments projects by their type, including policy initiatives, pilots and demonstrations, commercial deployments, sustainability programmes, and city developments. It also splits them by region, project type, and industry sector.
Navigant has also evaluated the leading suppliers in the smart city market.