Smart Cities Get Guidelines and a Forecast

By Thomas Price Sunday, November 29, 2020

As the world continues to move deeper into the 21st century, many ideas such as zero-emission targets, sustainable farming, and large scale clean energy production have become less wild goals and more legitimate plans for the future. These ideas have been backed by legitimate science with some serious funding. However, integrating them into cities has always been seen as a significant challenge. The recent release of a report outlining the next 20 years of development for smart cities provides hope that this is a strongly possible future. So, what exactly does the report outline, and how can these smart cities actually come to life?

Smart Cities Features

The report essentially outlines all major features that will be hallmarks of this generation of smart cities and the possible costs and market growth over the next 20 years. The details of creating these cities include an exhaustive list of solid technology that would create an efficient and sustainable city. One of the highlights of the larger plans would be energy independence achieved through water, wind, and land power, which would create a sustainable 100% electric grid. The ideas for smart cities go much larger than simply this as well with food independence being another major point. The report sees the integration of farming into the city through robot greenhouses, vertical farms, aquaculture, and saline farming. Another central idea for food independence would be meat being cultivated instead of raised on a more traditional farm. Many of the people behind projects such as these expect food, water, and energy independence for all of the smart cities to be developed, even those near the sea or the desert. Transportation will also be radically changed with major investments in robot shuttles, robot buses, and electric aircraft to help transition people away from reliance on fossil fuel cars or personal vehicles for that matter. Other major technologies that are going to be invested in and explored include non-slip, multi-purpose solar glass, hyperloop travel powers by tides and solar energy, hydrotaxis, and green concrete.

When thinking about the reduction of emissions, the report takes this into account as well with a plan for a $100 billion opportunity to create modular gensets that will take all emissions from these cities to a net-zero. The report mentions all of these incredible technologies. However, the main focus is on the projects already underway in some capacity as well as the companies and technologies that are actively supporting their development. In fact, both the cities and the companies currently doing the work range in the hundreds.

Smart City Numbers

Along with putting a spotlight on major viable technologies, the smart city report also touched on the current plans in action and the overall market value. As it stands, there are 151 different companies focusing their efforts on cultivating and building smart cities. Those 151 different companies have honed that focus onto 500 cities, which will all undergo a substantial transformation. Most of these cities will need somewhere between $100 billion all the way up to $500 billion. Many of the cities will also not be in rich countries but instead in developing ones. Of the major investors in the future of smart cities, the highlights are SpaceX, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Toyota, Tesla, Hyundai, Volkswagen, LG, Apple, and Virgin. By the time 2041 rolls around, the collective value of the entire smart city market, including materials, technology, and systems, will stand at a whopping $1.7 trillion. This could potentially attract many other investors looking to get in before smart cities explode into existence across the globe.

Final Conclusions

Smart cities represent a radical change from the way things are right now. However, that is not to suggest that the means or the technology to make them happen is far away. As the necessity to create less dependent and more sustainable societies continues to grow, smart cities are a major way to maintain a certain level of urban lifestyle while doing it. The various forecasts and predictions the report offers over the next 20 years shows really how open the door is to new change within this period of time. In fact, it would not be surprising and looks to be likely to see hundreds of smart cities begin to pop up over these years.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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