Smart City Initiatives in Singapore and Chattanooga
Approximately 66 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050, a 12 percent increase from 2014¹. With urban migration imminent over the next 33 years, enormous pressures will continue to be placed on already-strained resources in global metropolises around the world and cities will be required to adopt smart city initiatives.
The rapid development of city populations will impact infrastructure, resources and the environment while affecting how people live and interact within these spaces. An important question to consider then is how cities will adapt to the inevitable changes that come from urban expansion?
The answer, albeit complex, lies within the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT technology creates new conveniences for populations and is a major potential revenue stream for businesses in traditional industries. As cities continue to expand over the next three decades and companies ramp up their monetization of IoT technology, enormous growth potential is in place for organizations willing to implement connected system technologies and smart city initiatives.
Urbanites already lead more connected lives than their counterparts in rural areas:
• In 2016, the number of smartphone users is forecast to reach 2.1 billion with 59 percent of smartphone users living in cities.
• 70 percent of urban homes have internet connections, compared to 63 percent of rural households (Statista).
The development of IoT technologies enables urban centers to transform into smart cities, changing the way people interact in these regions. Below are two smart city initiatives that both successfully implemented Internet of Things components and adapted to the changing technology landscape.
Singapore claimed the top spot as Global Smart City – 2016 by Juniper Research. Their fixed and cellular broadband services, city apps and open data policies support the foundation of a thriving smart city.
A leader in applying IoT, Singapore stands out for their deployment of smart grid technologies. Smart grids allow for two-way communication between utilities and customers with sensors along transmission lines. These grids work in tandem to connect controls, automation and technology equipment while responding to consumer demand in real time.
Before adopting IoT technology, the future of downtown Chattanooga, TN was uncertain. Mayor Andy Berke recently discussed the city’s transformation at the Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) and described Chattanooga ten years ago as a steel and foundry city that was dying.
In 2008, the city renounced traditional service providers in favor of building its own fiber-optic network. Building this network turned out to be a wise investment and provided thousands of jobs, lowered energy consumption and established the city as a thriving tech industry leader and smart city.
Since establishing a relationship with Nokia, the city’s fiber network now covers 150,000 homes and businesses. STEM students are able to utilize high-speed connectivity to get a real-time view of biological specimens being examined across the country by researchers at the University of Southern California.
As Singapore and Chattanooga demonstrate, the future of smart cities will only continue to expand. As cities incorporate more smart city IoT elements across the urban landscape, IoT device security will become increasingly critical to ensure devices remain updated with the latest software and hardware.