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Technology creates convenience and efficiencies in ways large and small. Combining technology with physical infrastructures has the potential to change the future of cities.
Sameer Sharma, Global GM, Smart Cities & Transportation, for IOT/Networking Solutions at Intel, spoke with Capgemini’s Masood Amin in the fifth episode in our six-part Leaders in Innovation podcast series, a partnership we have with Products That Count. Sharma is a fierce proponent of smart cities – places that use digital technology and data to solve a range of problems associated with urban living, including population density, traffic, crime, and safety.
But building these cities and powering these improvements extends beyond bricks and mortar, concrete and steel. As Sharma says, we need to think about the bits and the bytes as well. Companies, citizens, and public services need to build the digital overlay to affect real change. Digital transformation is key to bring back the building blocks of smart cities to a better state of productivity. He calls this the “infrastructure of tomorrow” or “smart infrastructure,” and it relies heavily on the ability to engineer and scale up massive numbers of systems, across multiple platforms, to leverage advanced technologies like 5G, Edge computing, IoT, and AI. This combination will enable data-driven services for citizens.
The expansive wealth of data that is generated by all these systems is analyzed, becoming the foundation for the types of services needed to sustain smart cities. Pulling insights from all this data can be applied for practical solutions. Traffic patterns and public safety can help underserved populations better connect to transportation, and can influence the location of affordable housing to make that connection even easier.
The Capgemini Research Institute recently surveyed 10,000 citizens and 300 city leaders around the world to identify challenges and opportunities to becoming smart cities. Nearly 75 percent of city officials believe a smart city will attract a more qualified workforce and provide an attractive destination for start-ups and established businesses. Perhaps most interesting is the finding that 41 percent of US citizens are willing to pay more for using smart-city initiatives.
The biggest challenge survey respondents identified? Lack of technology expertise to provide digital platforms for urban services.
Listen to the full podcast here.
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