Smart Cities UK – A Smart Investment
When it comes to Smart Cities, the UK has a proven track record of being smarter than most countries.
It started with the Industrial Revolution when cities in the North of England not only developed the technology of the time but also swiftly adapted it to run the mills and factories, turning their investors into the first wave of self-made free market millionaires anywhere in the world.
Naturally, the “Smart” of that bygone era simply did not embrace today’s concept of looking after the citizens, with their workforces having to endure conditions which would lead to a revolution today.
The “Smart” factor involving a social conscience has become increasingly needed as cities have simply got bigger. Today more than half the world’s population, some 3.9 billion people, can be found living in urban areas. And as cities have grown exponentially, so too have the problems of having so many people living and working together in such confined spaces.
Energy consumption, waste, traffic and human congestion all need answers as they increasingly seem to impact on global warming. So that’s where technology is now seen as the panacea.
This was reinforced by the forward thinkers who first coined the phrase “Smart City” and identified the key component needed to claim the title as “Technologies”.
Forbes has recently named the Top Five Smart Cities which sees London, New York, Barcelona, Singapore and Nice make the list.
Yet surprisingly only London and Singapore scored highly on the technology front whereas New York City was praised for smart street lighting and smart traffic flow while Nice and Barcelona made the list because of a strong environmental showing.
Yet London is no longer top of the Smart City league in the UK, having been overtaken by Bristol last year. There is also a strong showing from the cities who spearheaded the industrial revolution with the majority of the top 20 UK Smart Cities now to be found in the North and Scotland.
With the UK as a whole expected to take 10% of a $408 billion global market in Smart Cities by 2020 thanks to its traditional strengths in product design, and infrastructure engineering, this makes for an attractive proposition for US investors.