The next generation of cities will be smart. Smart cities use digital technology in various ways to improve life in fast-moving, crowded urban settings, deploying intelligent sensors, analytical software, and Internet technologies across the urban infrastructure to connect people to people, things to things, and people to things. Cities are implementing these technologies for a number of reasons: they allow a new kind of control and communication with citizens, making the city more efficient, safer, and cleaner, and smart city initiatives create competitive advantages that attract investment and new employers. Planners know cities must become more efficient because global urban populations are growing. In just a few decades, demographers say, most people on the planet—9.5 billion by 2050—will live in cities. That’s true even for—perhaps especially for—the less-developed economies in Africa, Asia, and South America, where urbanization is proceeding especially quickly.
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Volume 61, Issue 5, Steptember-October 2018