Smart City Tech A Growing Trend Worldwide

In 2010, $8.1 billion was spent globally on smart technology in cities in the US, and within the next five years, that number is projected to jump to $39.5 billion, greatly expanding the capacity for smart city projects around the world. Currently, there are 102 smart cities in the world. Europe has the most at 38, with North America following closely with 35. Asia has 21, the Middle East and Africa combined have six, and South and Central America have two. The “smartness” of a city is determined by these aspects: economy, environment, government, lifestyle, transportation and community.

Holyoke, Massachusetts, is one city partaking in a smart city project. Working with Cisco, Holyoke is working to provide urban services via technology in the hopes of boosting economy, education and population retention.

Image via Cisco/City of Holyoke

Across the pond, Amsterdam is working on its own project, which started in 2009. The program, headed jointly by Innovation Motor and Utility Liander, is designed to reduce CO2 emissions in the city, and eventually across the continent. Amsterdam’s original goal was to reduce emissions by 40% by 2025, but the smart city project hopes to meet that goal in 2015.

According to ABI Research, which analyzes and forecasts technology trends, there are currently over one hundred smart city projects, both completed and in progress. Senior analyst Josh Flood says that there are likely more to come. “Smart city concepts are really taking off globally. Currently, the largest spending on smart city technologies is for smart grids; however, over the next five years we will see a significant increase on spending for smart transportation technologies such as automatic vehicle ID and smart governance systems such as e-ID and ID document systems.”

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.