Creating successful Smart Cities in 2014 will be an economic, financial and political challenge, not an engineering accomplishment

It is a while since I last read a blog post from Rick. That is more a comment about me than the content of the posts but this one is worth reading ( and I have only skim read it but will revisit it later). It is picking up the point made in the recent EU Mapping Smart Cities report that most cities in the West are only at the start of the smart cities agenda and for 2014 the importance must be to galvanise private sector finances to move beyond the pilot approach, to step out of living labs to start to mainstream some of the actions. It is not knowledge that is holding us back but largely resources and Government doesn’t these s but the private sector does. Rick sees some promising signs for 2014.

The Urban Technologist

Why insurers, pension funds and politics will be more important to Smart Cities in 2014 than “Living Labs” or technology.

(The 2nd Futurama exhibition at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. In 50 years’ time, how will we perceive today’s visions of Smart Cities? Photo by James Vaughan)

I hope that 2014 will be the year in which we see widespread and large-scale investments in future city technology infrastructures that enable sustainable, equitably distributed economic and social growth. The truth is that we are still in the very early stages of that process.

In 2012 I spoke with a Director at a financial consultancy who’d performed a survey of European Smart City initiatives. She confirmed something that I suspected at the time: that the great majority of Smart City initiatives up to that point in the mature markets of Europe and North America had been financed by research funding…

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