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Smart cities 2018: building on strong foundations for Europe

Each year heralds in a new wave of predictions when it comes to the trends and technology that will be sweeping over smart cities—and developing . In 2017, European cities saw the rise of smart city solutions like , smart parking and , and free (and fast) , for example, was a hot topic at tech conferences as companies partnered up with cities to get the networks in place for this high-speed service. We saw cities look to options from  to smart transportation as ways to cut carbon emissions and become smarter for long-long term success. This comes as no surprise to over half the global population living in cities over the past decade, and the UN predicting that more than 70 percent of people will live in urban areas by 2050. In 2014 there were only 28 megacities (cities with more than 10 million inhabitants), and that number is expected to multiply to more than 650 by 2030. Below, we’ll take a look at the top trends predicted to drive the smart city market in 2018 that cities across Europe should keep in mind when putting their own strategies and solutions in place.

  1. Race for 5G 

The race is on for the fifth-generation wireless system with all of the elements in place for major companies like ,  and  to start mass-producing phone chips anticipated to hit the market by 2019. , by A彩彩票注册, there may be more than 20.4 billion connected “things.” With a , not only will this super-fast network benefit smartphone services, the technology may also boost sensors and communication used by the Internet of Things-connected devices. , for example, has already discussed plans to roll out a  that will allow cities like Budapest to serve as smart solution testing grounds.

  1. Driverless cars

All the big names in the automotive world from  to  have debuted their version of connected, driverless cars, and this trend will continue to take flight throughout 2018. When , it showed just how practical—and revolutionary—the power of connected cars can be. In addition to cars connecting with each other and objects along the road, these vehicles will be pushed even further into the future with the launch of 5G, heralding in a  with .

  1. Street Lighting

In a , it’s estimated that by A彩彩票注册, “10 percent of smart cities will use streetlamps as the backbone for a smart city WAN,” as cities switch from traditional streetlamps to connected LED lights. Streetlamps will not only be supplied with more bandwidth, they’ll also be equipped with more advanced video technology. We’re already seeing progress in this sector in cities like  that are using street lighting in an effort to become smarter by improving city operations, traffic management and public safety.

  1. Smart Parking 

According to a , if a city like London implemented on-street smart parking management services, drivers could save 33,000 hours spent in cars looking for parking, offering indirect benefits of €870,000. Cities like Helsinki are already taking this into consideration when planning new districts like , where parking share space service apps like “Rentapark” aim to reduce traffic and cut CO2 emissions. In , meanwhile, the port has not only looked to sustainable solutions like the LNG-powered ferry, it’s also drafting a smarter design to stop traffic jams caused by parking congestion.

  1.    Future-forward transport

According to an article from , one of the main factors affecting large cities is climate change, which is leading the trend toward low-carbon solutions. If the rise in global temperatures is to be kept at less than 2 degrees Celsius,  would have to make the switch to electric by 2060. Given this information, it’s no surprise that smart transportation is one sector that has grown significantly over 2017 as cities look to everything from e-vehicles to  as ways to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Start-ups like  in France plan to introduce 100-percent electric driverless taxis in Paris by the end of the year, while  is looking to free itself of fossil fuels by acting as a testing ground for EVs, already hitting its goal last spring of 85 percent of the municipality’s vehicles being electric-, hydrogen- or hybrid-powered.

  1. City development at low costs

During the  in Barcelona in November, one key element affecting the future of smart city development is cost. As a recent  states: “It’s one kind of the milestone to build an entirely new smart city when you have the capital to do so, but ensuring urban revitalization in communities beleaguered by poverty and environmental contamination is key to empowering citizens.” Last year, we saw a few cities across Europe get inventive when it comes to financing smart city projects, from  to citizen-centric projects in . By looking out of the box at alternative ways to launch smart solutions, these cities are showing that change and progress are possible despite a lack of public funding.

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