Smart technologies to help cities meet challenges: Report

Smart technologies to help cities meet challenges: Report

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According to McKinsey Global Institute report, ‘Smart cities: Digital solutions for a more liveable future’, smart technologies can help cities meet their challenges in future. It is estimated that cities which are already home to more than half the world population, are expected to add another 2.5 billion new residents by 2050. As a result, they will face increasing environmental pressures and infrastructure needs in the coming years. McKinsey report says that by employing smart technologies these challenges can be successfully met.

Cities will generate an ocean of data and collecting, storing and analysing them will be an uphill task. “Finding the insights in all that data helps municipal governments respond to fluid situations, allocate resources wisely, and plan for the future. Furthermore, putting real-time information into the hands of individuals and companies empowers them to make better decisions and play a more active role in shaping the city’s overall performance. As cities get smarter, they become more liveable and more responsive and today we are seeing only a glimpse of what technology could eventually do in the urban environment,” says the report.

The report says that smart-city strategies start with people, not technology. Smartness is not just about installing digital interfaces in traditional infrastructure or streamlining city operations. It is also about using technology and data purposefully to make better decisions and deliver a better quality of life.

Quality of life has many dimensions, from the air residents breathe to how safe they feel walking the streets. The latest report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) analyzes how dozens of digital applications address these kinds of practical and very human concerns. It finds that cities can use smart technologies to improve some key quality-of-life indicators by 10 to 30 percent numbers that translate into lives saved, fewer crime incidents, shorter commutes, a reduced health burden, and carbon emissions averted.