Smart are set to drive the of cities by more than 5% and drive more than $20 trillion in additional economic benefits by 2026, according to an ABI Research report.

The report, titled ‘Roles of Smart Cities for Economic Development’, was commissioned by InterDigital on behalf of its Smart Cities-focused business, Chordant. In order to capitalise on the economic benefits, cities must begin preparation and investment now, the report noted.

Jim Nolan, executive vice president, Chordant at InterDigital, said: “These recent findings further emphasize the importance of as a driver for economic development in our future smart cities. The benefits are clear: in incremental GDP growth will significantly transform the way we live and how our cities operate. But it’s not as simple as deploying technology and hoping it sticks. Cities will have to become strategic in the way they deploy smart city technology to ensure that it maximizes its potential.”

Smart city technologies are set to impact three dimensions majorly over the next . They are Open Data Policies, having a potential incremental GDP growth of nearly $1 trillion without investments in physical infrastructure; public investments multiplier effect of up to times, with a potential incremental GDP growth of $ trillion; and structural smart urban economy growth, with an expected increase of 2.8% by 2026, driven by next-generation technologies like AI and blockchain.

Similarly, Cisco is also working towards the smart cities initiative. The company had in November contributed $1 billion to the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program, a smart cities fund, wherein Cisco teamed up alongside Digital Alpha Advisors, a private equity firm, and pension fund investors APG Asset Management and Whitehelm Capital. Alongside this, Cisco has also added a new functionality to its Cisco Kinetic for Cities digital platform.

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