Cities play an extremely important role in the world today. As powerful engines of growth that account for significant amounts of global GDP, cities provide the networks and interactions that make us more creative and productive as a society, meaning they are crucial for economic development and wealth creation.
Today, around 55% of the world’s population is based in cities, but this hasn’t always been the case. Over the past few decades, the proportion of the global population living in cities has increased significantly, and this is a trend that looks set to continue accelerating. According to UN estimates, urbanization could add another 2.5 billion people to the world’s cities over the next 30 years, which means that by 2050, up to 70% of the global population could be city-based.
Naturally, this urbanization trend is creating challenges. With populations steadily increasing, many cities across the world are struggling with issues such as traffic congestion, high energy consumption, and inefficient waste disposal programs. Looking to the future, cities will have to find smarter solutions to improve their infrastructure and provide a better quality of life for their residents.
This is where technology is already playing a key role, and today, we are seeing the rise of ‘smart cities’ that are using technology to improve efficiency, enhance sustainability, and boost economic competitiveness. With the help of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), cities are transforming everything from traffic management to street lighting, to make themselves far more adaptive than they were in the past.