The so-called "smart city" has been around for several years, as municipal governments have embraced various forms of digital technology to improve services, increase efficiencies and cut costs.
Released in the second quarter of 2021, Market Data: Smart Cities, published by Guidehouse Insights, Boulder, Colo., examines recent developments in the global smart city market. It notes that cities are “rebuilding better” in the aftermath of the pandemic and other disruptive events of 2020.
According to Smart Cities Connect, an online community of cities that have adopted smart technology, the term “smart city” involves three things: digital connectivity, the collection and use of data to inform and refine the decision-making process, and government involvement in the solutions. Smart cities technology can be applied to municipal buildings, infrastructure and functions, including transportation, street lighting, water, energy, waste management, disaster preparedness and more.
Guidehouse observes that cities have been pursuing smart technology solutions for more than a decade. However, external forces in the past year, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of climate change and increasing awareness of social and racial inequities, have cast the need for smart technology into sharp relief. Cities are embarking on a rebuilding process to better withstand and respond to these challenges. Smart technology is helping them pursue their new goals more effectively.
Energy-efficient buildings, data analytics and cloud-based infrastructure are a few of the many resources that will see increased investment, according to Guidehouse. The market research firm projects the global smart city technology market to grow from approximately $101 billion in annual revenue in 2021 to $240 billion by 2030. That would represent a compound annual growth rate of 10.2%. Cumulative 2021-2030 revenue is expected to reach $1.65 trillion.