It should come as no surprise that cities are at the forefront of society’s movement toward a more energy-efficient, green and technologically driven future.


Collectively referred to as “smart cities,” market research firm Navigant Research has documented their growth. It is predicting robust expansion in the global market.


According to Navigant, smart-city technology touches on many infrastructure issues local governments face, including water, energy, lighting, transportation, disaster preparedness, buildings and government. In doing so, solutions are varied, including networked light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights, smart grids, climate action plans, open data platforms and more.


Of note, Navigant observes that cities have assumed a leading role in meeting national goals for carbon-emission reductions. Smart grids, energy efficiency, distributed generation and demand management have become the tools to achieve that goal. According to Navigant, global revenue from the market for smart cities/smart-energy technology alone is expected to grow from $7.3 billion in 2015 to $20.9 billion worth in 2024.


Smart energy is only a part of the overall smart-city technology market, which Navigant also expects to grow. It is projecting the overall global smart-city technology market to be worth approximately $27.5 billion annually by 2023, more than double its $12.1 billion value in 2016.


“Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Smart City Suppliers” ranked the market’s top 10 vendors. These vendors “are adaptable to the emerging needs of cities” and are offering solutions that reflect the growing interest in such areas as “the urban Internet of Things (IoT), big data solutions, and the transformation in city approaches to energy policy, urban mobility, and city resilience.”


In descending order, the vendors are IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Siemens, Hitachi, Huawei, SAP, Panasonic, Oracle and Ericsson.