Asia tipped to be the global smart cities leader

As the smart city movement grows around the world, a new study sees Asia emerging as the global smart city leader of the future.

A recent Government Technology  white paper “Evolution of Smart Cities and Connected Communities.” The study was co-sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association and the United Parcel Service (UPS).

The paper focused on rise in worldwide smart city projects, which rose 38% to more than 235 initiatives in 2016 from 170 at the end of 2013. In terms of market value, smart cities jumped from $14.85 billion in 2015 to a predicted value of $34.35 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of over 18%.

The paper found that a key driver of smart cities growth was the ongoing trend of global urbanization.

“With 70% of the world’s population forecast to live in cities by 2050, the need for sustainable, livable world cities is essential for a prosperous future,” said the report.

One of the more interesting findings of the research was that Asia, not America, is most likely to emerge as the region leading global smart city development.

Asia’s rosy smart city outlook is largely due to the three factors: pressing urban needs of its population centers; the tech readiness of these cities; and strong government support.

The paper noted that Asia is moving quickly into a leadership position with smart cities due to a steady stream of government investments.

India has a lot of action

India is developing an astonishing 100 new smart cities, while converting 500 other urban areas into smart cities. And China is well on the bandwagon as well, having launched 285 smart city related projects.

David Roegge, UPS’ director of high-tech segment marketing, said that he was not surprised that the report found smart cities were growing strongly in Asia.

He said that many Asian cities are building smart cities from scratch, compared to U.S. cities that are saddled with the costly chore of upgrading legacy infrastructure.

“In some of the Asian areas, India for example, they don’t necessarily need to overhaul their infrastructure, so that gives them an advantage on the speed side,” said Roegge.

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