According to the research firm, in the next 20 years, the world population will grow from 6.9 billion to 8.3 billion people. The urban population will grow even faster, from 3.5 billion to five billion.
Pike Research defines a smart city as the integration of technology into a strategic approach to sustainability, citizen well-being, and economic development.
Models for smart urban design differ widely between regions, though, from the ancient inner cities of many European cities, to the urban and suburban sprawl found in the US, to the rapid rise of dense urban areas in Asia, particularly in China.
Similarly, no single technology defines the smart city - although a number of iconic technologies can be highlighted as key components of the smart city vision. Among them are broadband, smart meters for electricity and water use, intelligent transport systems, and extensively deployed monitoring and sensor technologies.
Cities are the focus for new approaches to energy efficiency, building design, transportation, waste management, and energy use. Huge investments will be required to implement these approaches.
Investment in smart city technology infrastructure will total $108 billion during the years from 2010 to 2020, forecasts Pike Research. By the end of that period, it is anticipated that annual spending will reach nearly $16 billion.
Senior analyst Eric Woods said: â€œInformation and communications - particularly ubiquitous broadband Internet access - are vital elements in any definition of the smart city. But a city only becomes smart if it can make use of these capabilities to deliver real-time services based on the capture of information.â€
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