The Smart City Sector: Is it a real opportunity for entrepreneurs?

There are so many challenges on this planet today. Maybe our future is not very long because of mistakes that we have made in terms of living on this planet sustainably (Jill Tarter, American astronomer and former director of the SETI).

There are few opportunities that combine saving our planet and doing good business. We believe that this combination would allow us to achieve a sustainable and viable model to rescue our world. So we should take advantage of these opportunities as soon as possible.

Our planet requires better cities! “Smart Cities” are in the global spotlight! The concept of “Smart City” began to be installed a few years ago as a new industry. (or sector?) According to experts, this industry is growing rapidly and it will reach $ 7T by 2030. Just in 2021, its market size exceeds $ 1T.

The concept of “Smart Cities” was conceived by tech giants over 10 years ago. In 2009, the innovation leaders in conjunction with several visionary countries fantasized about “Smart Cities”. Several of them were transformed into actions and initiatives in order to take advantage of the city’s resources in an “intelligent” way and improve the life quality of its inhabitants.

More than ever today, life on our planet needs a major change in the development of our cities. Key areas such as the environment and sustainable development directly affect the common good, ecosystem balance, sustainable cities, and citizen inclusion, creating serious impacts in all dimensions. Finally, these topics have already begun to be part of the agenda, as well as they’re being discussed in summits such as the G-8, the World Economic Forum, international organizations such as the IDB, World Bank, OAS, ITU, and in most of the countries of our world.

As the specialized media ESMARTCITY.ES states, “we want to make a social balance of this new city proposal as one of the current challenges towards western society trend, so as to answer to whom the city is designed, as well as it is conceived.”

We believe this change requires a high involvement and active participation of all the inhabitants committed to the city’s transformation,  assuming their roles as dreamers of a better world. If you feel like a part of the team of designers, innovators, or transformers of the world, who create solutions and new paradigms to live better, this emerging sector of “Smart Cities” would offer endless possibilities and opportunities for development.

As a starting point, we think it’s essential to connect to ecosystem networks, nurture from the experiences, and share so that this community would be substantial, grows, and collaborates to coordinate its efforts intelligently. It is necessary to know how to connect with the ecosystem within the city to understand the diverse problems and realities, and thus be able to formulate proper and tuned solutions.

There are organizations such as The Global City Teams Challenge, in the USA, the European Smart Cities Information System, in Europe, and Sé Santiago, in Chile, which stands out for knowing how to manage and connect themselves in a comprehensive way with this ecosystem. Connect with them to add them as part of your networks and learn about the realities they address. There are also universities, tech giants, non-profits, and other organizations that develop their strategies in “Smart Cities”.

Figure 1: The 6 action areas of smart cities (taken from Brussels Smart City)

The opportunity to become a player in the emerging “Smart Cities” sector is today. Now define an offer in this ecosystem, that would ensure having a seat in the first rows of a great global event, which grows by leaps and bounds year after year.

Links of interest:

  1. Housing and Urban Development Division, IADB: https://www.iadb.org/en/urban-development-and-housing/housing-and-urban-development
  2. Blog BID: Ciudades Sostenibles: https://blogs.iadb.org/ciudades-sostenibles/en/
  3. Global Future Council on Cities of Tomorrow, World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/communities/gfc-on-cities-of-tomorrow
  4. Global Smart City Partnership Program, World Bank: https://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/global-smart-city-partnership-program/
  5. Purposes for Smart City (in Spanish), Sé Santiago: http://www.sesantiago.cl/proposito/
  6. The Global City Teams Challenge: https://www.nist.gov/ctl/smart-connected-systems-division/iot-devices-and-infrastructure-group/smart-americaglobal-0
  7. Smart Cities Information System, European Commission: https://smart-cities-marketplace.ec.europa.eu/node/3022
  8. Brussels Smart City: https://smartcity.brussels/

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