The iCity

future_city_by_kopix-d6ab7kqIn an age of rapid technological advancement, Smart Cities will leave the rest behind.

By Kevin G. Coleman.

Where once roads and bridges were built by governments to lay the foundation for an area’s development, there is now a need for digital infrastructure at the municipal level to pave the way for the developments of tomorrow. Yet many have failed to respond to the rapid evolution of digital infrastructure that will be the foundation of the future. The previous decade’s need for high-speed digital communication infrastructure has now been joined by many new Internet technologies as a critical requirement for urban competitiveness.

With increased competitiveness comes new businesses and population growth. Starting a business from scratch, relocating one, or expanding current operations has always benefited from a strategy that keys in on modern infrastructure, a knowledgeable workforce, and local government leaders attuned to high-tech business. Keeping up with the three components has led to what is being called the Smart City. These forward-thinking cities are putting the infrastructure and policy in place to accommodate rapidly-developing technology—like Google’s driverless cars and Amazon’s package delivery drones.

Smart City is a designation that is beginning to gain momentum around the world, yet it has escaped the attention of many organizations and leaders at both local and regional levels. In general conversation, a growing number of professionals are becoming familiar with the term Smart City and beginning to understand the movement it represents and its implications. Tech giants like IBM, Cisco, GE and Intel all have active initiatives addressing the technology needs of Smart Cities. Current market projections for Smart City initiatives are expected to top $1 trillion by 2016.

Researchers have come to believe that over the next few decades we will experience an extraordinary transformation in the urban landscape on a global scale, and that transformation will be driven by technology. In that same period of time the …

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