Intel-sponsored study highlights benefits of smart city technologies

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A new Intel-sponsored study by Juniper Research estimates that smart cities have the potential to ‘give back’ 125 hours to every resident every year, with the research also ranking the top 20 smart cities worldwide across four key criteria.

The Juniper report says the concept of smart cities – which employ Internet of Things (IoT) technologies such as connected sensors, meters and lights to collect and analyze data to improve public infrastructure and services – holds the promise to dramatically change the way citizens live, work and get around.

The study, Smart Cities – What’s in It for Citizens?, ranks the top 20 smart cities worldwide across four key areas – mobility, health care, public safety and productivity – and reveals how these cities deliver positive outcomes for increased time savings and productivity, increases in health and overall quality of life, and a safer environment.

The study found that Chicago, New York and San Francisco in the USA, London in the UK, and Singapore are the world’s leading cities integrating IoT technologies and connected services.

These cities stand out because of their cohesive efforts to connect city municipalities, businesses and their citizens, to address a growing need to improve ‘livability; specifically around mobility (San Francisco and Singapore), public safety (Chicago, New York and Singapore), health care (London and Singapore), and productivity (Chicago, London and Singapore).

Many of the IoT technologies identified in the study are already being deployed around the world, with the report showing that:

• Mobility – An integrated IoT-enabled infrastructure of intelligent traffic systems, safer roads, directed parking, frictionless toll and parking payments can give back up to 60 hours a year to drivers otherwise stuck in congestion;

• Health – Cities with connected digital health services can play a significant role in creating efficiencies, saving citizens almost 10 hours a year, with potential lifesaving benefits for both patients and caregivers;

• Public Safety – Connected digital infrastructure, such as smart streetlights, to gather valuable data enabling a range of local departments to be more efficient, can deliver substantial time benefits for citizens of nearly 35 hours per year.

“Analysts tend to focus on the technical underpinnings of building a data-centric world,” said Windsor Holden, head of forecasting and consultancy at Juniper Research.

“We can’t overlook the importance of the real human benefits that smart cities have. Connected communities, municipal services, and processes, have a powerful impact on a citizen’s quality of life.” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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