2016 Global Smart Infrastructure - A Smart Approach to Smart Cities in 2016

Publication Overview

The power of the cities is increasing and it is becoming possible to gather much broader support for ‘national’ interest projects in relation to digital infrastructure, sustainability and smart city platforms. What however, is often still missing is a holistic approach towards the development of smart cities; this needs to be led from the top and to be supported by a ‘smart council’. A major stumbling block towards the development of a smart city is the many silos within a city, resisting the sharing of infrastructure and other relevant assets, resisting open data and open government. The report analyses the progress towards smart cities around the world, supported by valuable examples and statistics. It takes into account the role of government as well as technological innovations surrounding M2M and sensors; Smart Grids; IoT; wearable technologies and Artificial Intelligence.

Subjects include:

  • Smart City Transformation towards 2017;
  • How to become a Smart City;
  • Smart Grids and Smart Meters;
  • Smart Transport Systems and Drones;
  • Artificial Intelligence;
  • Wearable Technologies.

Researchers:- Kylie Wansink, Paul Budde.
Current publication date:- October 2016 (5th Edition)

Executive Summary

The global smart city transformation is underway

Slowly but surely we are beginning to see a transformation take place in many parts of the world, as governments and councils realise they need to take a holistic approach to future city-wide development. In Australia, for example, we see that Adelaide, Canberra, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Sydney, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast have all been identified as being among the leading smart cities. The Netherlands also has great examples of emerging Smart Cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven.

While it can be difficult for councils to obtain funding for Smart City projects – there are many things that cities can do within their existing budget. Every city needs to develop its vision and leadership from the top down and requires a Smart Council to lead initiatives. Councils need to consider how one aspect of a Smart City can benefit another. For example, how can communication technologies such as WiFi, mobile broadband, apps, M2M, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart micro-grids be used to achieve synergy or asset sharing?

Even more importantly, perhaps, is establishing community Buy-in for Smart City projects. Directly engaging with citizens, businesses and others can establish the essential support required for developments - and they can also assist in building business models that can lead to investment.

For those operating in the telecoms sector – smart city developments offer enormous opportunities going forward. Billions of dollars are already being poured into the essential telecoms infrastructure and technologies required for smart cities. Implementing an holistic IoT infrastructure using sensors and M2M requires the heavy involvement of the telecoms industry. Establishing the networking solutions is also important and this is where developments such as Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) are being closely monitored.

To progress towards a smart city, local councils should lead the vision, set the strategy, and work side-by-side with their citizens, neighbourhood communities, businesses, local stakeholders and others. They need to abolish the internal silo mentality. Most of the political and financial powers still reside with state and federal governments and transformation is also often needed to create a better and more equal level of collaboration between all levels of government. As local councils still have a long way to go, state and federal governments will need to guide and support local councils in this complex transformation process.

Key developments:

  • As we look towards 2017 there are some great smart city examples emerging both nationally and internationally.
  • State-of-the-art telecommunications are vital to a city’s economic health and well-being.
  • Developments linked to Block Chain may be useful for Smart Cities and Smart Grids.
  • Smart cities present significant opportunities for telecoms operators.
  • In 2016 Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft continue to show a keen interest in Artificial Intelligence developments.
  • Wearable technology has become a thriving industry, with an ever-broadening range of possible uses and devices for our smart communities of the future.
  • In May 2016 the ITU and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) launched an important initiative called: United for Smart Sustainable Cities, with the abbreviation U4SSC.
  • In 2016 the global smart city market is estimated to be worth around $1 trillion.
  • The most difficult issue to resolve in building smart cities is the funding.
  • In mid-2015 the ITU members decided to establish a study group which would focus specifically on smart cities in terms of the standardization requirements for the broader Internet of Things (IoT).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Smart city infrastructure transformation
    • 1.1 Smart Cities in the Hands of Cities and Communities
      • 1.1.1 Defining smart cities
      • 1.1.2 Smart city challenges becoming clearer
      • 1.1.3 Published smart city statistics
      • 1.1.4 The use of telecommunications in smart cities
      • 1.1.5 Smart buildings
      • 1.1.6 Smart Cities and the open data dilemma
      • 1.1.7 Connected homes gaining market share
      • 1.1.8 Alphabet, Microsoft, Samsung and Apple target smart Home market
      • 1.1.9 Smart Factory – Industry 4.0
      • 1.1.10 Standards
      • 1.1.11 Working groups
      • 1.1.12 Smart Cities, Smart Councils
      • 1.1.13 Selected examples of smart cites and communities
      • 1.1.14 A great city is much more than a smart city
    • 1.2 How to become a Smart City
      • 1.2.1 Introduction
      • 1.2.2 Holistic thinking essential in smart city vision
      • 1.2.3 The role of local councils
      • 1.2.4 How to get started
      • 1.2.5 The Sharing Economy
    • 1.3 Smart Cities and Social Stability
      • 1.3.1 Inclusion weakens polarisation and populism
      • 1.3.2 So what do cities and smart cities have to do with all of this?
      • 1.3.3 So what is a smart city in this context?
      • 1.3.4 Rural areas and inner and outer suburbs
      • 1.3.5 Smart cities empower their citizens
      • 1.3.6 Conclusions
  • 2. Smart grids and smart meters
    • 2.1 Radical changes for electricity utilities
    • 2.2 The future of the electricity industry
      • 2.2.1 Consequences for the electricity industry
      • 2.2.2 A perfect storm
    • 2.3 Smart grids analysis
      • 2.3.1 The second phase: Smart Grid 2.0
      • 2.3.2 Escalating costs beyond the meter
    • 2.4 Smart grids and blockchains
      • 2.4.1 Alliander N.V.
    • 2.5 Strategic mistakes from governments and the energy industry
      • 2.5.1 This is resulting in a rethink and a regrouping
      • 2.5.2 Where are the government leaders?
      • 2.5.3 No smart grids without government leadership
      • 2.5.4 Confusion regarding regulations
      • 2.5.5 Muni Smart Grids
    • 2.6 Smart energy for the future
      • 2.6.1 Why solar may not be the biggest threat to energy utilities
    • 2.7 Smart grid vision
      • 2.7.1 Smart grids in need of strategic plans
      • 2.7.2 Trans-sector policies and an holistic approach required
    • 2.8 Global smart grid market
      • 2.8.1 Historical overview
      • 2.8.2 The current market
      • 2.8.3 Smart grid benefits and challenges
      • 2.8.4 Smart grid market value and investment
      • 2.8.5 Smart grid cyber security
      • 2.8.6 Smart grids and mobile technology
      • 2.8.7 Disruptive developments in smart grids
    • 2.9 Global smart meter market
    • 2.10 Remember the consumer
      • 2.10.1 Delighting and exciting electricity customers
      • 2.10.2 What’s in it for the customer?
    • 2.11 A concept, not a single technology
    • 2.12 M2M a key component
      • 2.12.1 From SCaDa to IoT
      • 2.12.2 Low power wide area (LPWA) networks
  • 3. Intelligent transport systems and drones
    • 3.1 Smart transport trends and analysis
      • 3.1.1 Smart transport – introduction
      • 3.1.2 Smart vehicles
      • 3.1.3 Electric vehicles
      • 3.1.4 Vehicle to Grid (V2G)
      • 3.1.5 Dedicated Short-Range Communications
      • 3.1.6 Freight in the digital age
      • 3.1.7 Further smart transport project examples
      • 3.1.8 Drones and Unmanned Aircraft
      • 3.1.9 Examples of applications for drones
  • 4. Artificial intelligence
    • 4.1 Smart societies based on artificial intelligence
      • 4.1.1 The proposition
      • 4.1.2 Philosophy and science
      • 4.1.3 Social and economic developments
      • 4.1.4 Are we reaching another breaking point?
      • 4.1.5 Solutions by using information technology to increase our intelligence
      • 4.1.6 Examples of developments
      • 4.1.7 Conclusion
  • 5. Wearable technology and sensors
    • 5.1 Sensors and wearables for a smarter world
      • 5.1.1 Wearable technology
      • 5.1.2 Wearable wireless devices
      • 5.1.3 Sensors
      • Table 1 – Examples of analysts’ estimates on world Smart City investments - 2016
      • Table 2 - Consumers rank the most useful mobile app categories by country
      • Table 3 - Consumers rank the most useful mobile app categories by age
      • Table 4 - International electricity price table comparison – 2015
      • Table 5 – Value of the global smart grid market – 2012 - 2020
      • Table 6 – Global smart meter shipments – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 7 - Selection of predictions in BT’s timeline
      • Table 8 – Global – wearable devices by category – market share – 2013 - 2015
      • Table 9 – Global – wearable device shipments – 2014 - 2020
      • Chart 1 – Global smart grid market at a glance – 2012 - 2020
      • Chart 2 – Global – wearable devices by category at a glance – 2013 - 2015
      • Exhibit 1 – Statistical overview
      • Exhibit 2 – The Intelligent Communities Forum
      • Exhibit 3 – Examples of HAN technology options
      • Exhibit 4 – Key smart home players
      • Exhibit 5 – Alphabet (Google)’s acquisition of Nest and smart homes
      • Exhibit 6 - Design principles of industry 4.0
      • Exhibit 7 – A snapshot of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) project
      • Exhibit 8 – Smart energy project in Amsterdam
      • Exhibit 9 – Barcelona Smart City benefits
      • Exhibit 10- Trans-sector vs Cross-sector
      • Exhibit 11 – Trans-sector benefits
      • Exhibit 12 – Key steps in developing a smart council
      • Exhibit 13 - ITU approves smart grid standards
      • Exhibit 14 – Smart grid applications
      • Exhibit 15 – Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF)
      • Exhibit 16 - International Smart Grid Action Network
      • Exhibit 17 – Challenges smart grids can address
      • Exhibit 18 – Field trials led by FINESCE
      • Exhibit 19 – Examples of leading smart meter players
      • Exhibit 20 – Replacing old electricity meters
      • Exhibit 21 - Smart grid as a cloud service
      • Exhibit 22 – Weightless SIG
      • Exhibit 23 – PRT/GRT systems
      • Exhibit 24 - Learning from e-cars
      • Exhibit 25 – Intelligent transport systems today
      • Exhibit 26 – USA – The I-80 Integrated Corridor Mobility Project
      • Exhibit 27 – In-car information
      • Exhibit 28 – From data analytics to Artificial Intelligence (AI)
      • Exhibit 29 – Watson in healthcare
      • Exhibit 30 – Wearable smart rings
      • Exhibit 31 – Monitoring swimmers

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Licence Information

Annual Publication Profile


Broadband Fixed
Regulations & Government Policies
Smart Infrastructure

Number of pages 191

Status Archived

Last updated 11 Oct 2016
Update History

Lead Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Contributing Analysts:

Paul Budde

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