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Report reveals $400 billion smart cities opportunity globally

Charlotte S Charlotte Schofield UKIMEA Press Office,Leeds
9 October 2013

A new report published today values the smart cities industry at more than $400 billion globally by 2020, with the UK expected to gain a 10% share ($40 billion).

Arup produced the ‘Global Market Opportunities and UK Capabilities for future smart cities’ report for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and it highlights how this technology could transform lives and provide a huge economic boost.

A smart city uses intelligent technology to enhance our quality of life in urban environments. Cities can use the data in a variety of ways: to save money, minimise waste, measure domestic water usage and manage transport routes.

Allowing the public access to real time information enables people to make more informed choices, such as planning a journey by checking for available room on trains and buses or even identifying car parking spaces before leaving the house.

To ensure that the UK does not miss out on the opportunities offered by smart cities, a new Smart Cities Forum has been established, chaired by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts and Cities Minister Greg Clark, and with representatives from cities, business, and scientists – including Arup Director, Volker Buscher.

The opportunity to develop new technologies for smart cities in the UK is massive. We want to make sure that we are at the forefront of this digital revolution so we can stay ahead in the global race designing new innovations in the UK and exporting them across the world. David Willetts, Universities and Science Minister

By 2050, the human population will have reached 9 billion people, with 75% of the world’s inhabitants living in cities. Smart technologies can help address some of the challenges of rapid urbanisation by improving services and managing their efficiency. We already have incredible academics and professionals in the UK so we are well equipped to capitalise on this growing market and help create a better environment for us all. Volker Buscher, Arup’s IT and Communications Practice Leader and Smart Cities Forum member

More information on the Smart Cities Forum and the full report can be found on the BIS website.