Smart cities must get smarter by embracing new technologies and approaches to combat future challenges, according to tech market advisory firm ABI Research.
Its new whitepaper, 5 Ways Smart Cities Are Getting Smarter, identifies digital twins & urban modelling, resilient cities, circular cities, micro-mobility and smart spaces as the five strategy shifts that will help cities address urban challenges ranging from the provision of sustainable energy to the adoption of smart mobility.
The first strategy shift is holistic, real-time modelling (digital twins of entire cities) and the automated, generative design of urban environments, both brownfield and greenfield.
The second strategy shift is migrating from a focus on safe and secure cities to resilient cities, taking advantage of next-generation technologies. To make cities fully resilient, it is vital to be able to predict (with the help of advanced AI and deep learning approaches) and, whenever possible, avoid disasters, ABI Research explains.
Moving from green and sustainable cities to circular cities involves sharing, recycling, repairing, refurbishing and repurposing materials, assets and natural resources.
“It is about turning entire cities into circular entities, eliminating their ‘outside of the city’ footprints entirely by achieving large degrees of self-support and self-sufficiency in areas like energy generation,” says Dominique Bonte, vice president at ABI Research.
Ahead of the mass-market uptake of consumer-owned EVs and driverless vehicles, cities are embracing electric, two-wheel, micro-mobility to reduce congestion and provide cleaner ways of getting around. The new generation of dockless electric bike and scooter sharing offers a much higher level of convenience than earlier docked, non-electric bike-sharing schemes.
The last strategy shift is rethinking the urban built environment through smart spaces – from decommissioning and repurposing parking spaces that are no longer needed due to high levels of car-sharing, to modular and energy-generating roads and the expansion and active management of green spaces.