Millennials want to live in “youthful” – not just smart – cities

While smart city news occupies an increasing amount of media bandwidth, a new survey reveals that millennials would rather live in a connected “youthful city.”

According to the Urban Millennial Survey most millennials interviewed said they want to live in a “youthful city” that is connected like a smart city, but is also dynamic, open, curious, inventive and playful.

YouthfulCities, an organization which “helps cities understand and engage the Millennial Generation” surveyed 15,000 people aged 15-34 years old in 34 cities about the infrastructure needs of their cities and the benefits and challenges of city life from their perspective.

“Millennials are a powerful economic and social force so it is no surprise that city leaders around the world are clamouring over each other to crack the code of understanding them,” said YouthfulCities co-founder Sonja Miokovic.

Robert Bond an IP technology specialist with London-based law firm Charles Russell Speechlys believes that city leaders should be clamoring to understand all of their citizens, not just millennials. Instead he said many global metropolises are focusing primarily on the prestige of implementing smart city technology rather than putting the citizens’ needs first.

Millennials are citizens, too

“Forget smart cities, what about smart citizens?” Bond recently commented to Lexology.com. “It seems that if government or big business put the word ‘smart’ in front of any initiative it becomes instantaneously exciting and everyone rushes to be part of the new ‘smart’ topic.”

“The citizen often has little idea as to how the technology works, why the technology is needed and what happens to their privacy in a smart environment,” he added.

Smart city plans are popping up in metropolises far and wide, from North America and Western Europe to developing nations in Asia and Africa.

According to a recently published report by Grand View Research, the smart cities development market will hit $1.4 trillion in 2020, nearly triple the global market size of that market today.

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