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Global Smart City Market Forecasts

Dimitar HRISTOV
CEO
Cluster Sofia Knowledge City

At the end of 2017, IDC FutureScape published a report, in which the global analyst presented its 10 forecasts for the development of the Smart City Market for the period during and after 2018. These forecasts are intended to inform the leaders of the urban centers, incl. mayors, city managers, members of city and municipal councils and innovation managers to be able to support the process of digital transformation.

The survey gives us the understanding of the IDC Smart City team about the ongoing urban transformations and their impact on city management. As, worldwide, development of Smart Cities projects is growing and is becoming, at the same time, less theoretical, researchers have identified three key topics to focus on, which are directly related to development of smart cities:

  • issues related to the management of pilot initiatives and projects, including ownership and management of data, security and new procurement models;
  • changes in urban processes that result from real-time data management and the challenge of how to train and support community staff to adopt new practices and attitudes;
  • technology considerations for smart cities platforms and the search for answers to how cities are going to use these platforms without compromising their need for open access to IT and co-experimentation.

The following clear trends and forecasts are emerging, which will influence the strategic planning of ICT investments in the cities.

Forecast 1: In 2018 providers of communication services will come at the fore front. They will develop strategies for working with urban authorities to expand intelligent communities, which will lead to 50% improvement in broadband coverage in the municipalities they partner with.

Forecast 2: In 2018, 30% of major cities will develop their strategies for Smart City IoT Platforms designed to connect devices, collect and manage data from different urban domains and technology vendors, and adopt new solutions and new a unified approach to urban development.

Forecast 3: In 2019, 25% of medium and large cities will experience the effects of digital transformation by increasing parking revenues, transit payments, advertising, and increasing the services offered by data management.

Forecast 4: In 2019, one-third of large cities will be able to regulate public carriers to combat congestion, improve driver safety and reduce obligations to ensure the purchase of first- and last-mile transit options.

Forecast 5: In 2019, 20% of public authorities globally will develop blockchain initiatives to reduce the cost of exploiting, processing and improving data integrity, sharing and embedding security and privacy protocols in registers and contracts.

Forecast 6: In 2019, up to 50% of global smart cities projects will be funded through PPPs, NGOs or Memoranda of Understanding, as cities and technology vendors are looking for new ways to work together across traditional public procurement models.

Forecast 7: In 2020 at least three large-scale urban initiatives will allow individuals to interact with urban sites - such as street lighting, street pavilions and tourist structures - access to new experiences, information and services.

Forecast 8: In response to the development of interrelated vehicles and the pressure to improve them by 2020, 20% of medium and large cities will begin to implement V2X opportunities to optimize traffic and significantly reduce collisions.

Forecast 9: In 2020, 15% of the major emergency management organizations (at city and state level) will use a combination of enhanced and virtual reality solutions to improve situational awareness through remote incident management and expertise on virtual reality (objects).

Forecast 10: Due to the increase in cyber attacks in 2020, 70% of governments will create and enforce common cyber-security standards (such as data management and connectivity security rules) at all levels of government, including the cities.


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