Daniel Hewes recently earned a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University and has since worked with chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the United States Green Building Council. In line with his academic and career interests, Daniel Hewes closely follows trends in urban planning and the development of smart cities.
One of the trends gaining momentum in the smart cities movement is that governments are becoming more aware of the initiative and are quickly moving toward adoption. A recent report by IDC Research suggests that local and state governments, as well as the federal government, are making increased strides toward developing smart cities. The report predicts that 20 of the world’s largest countries will adopt formal smart city policies by 2017.
Social media and crowdsourced data will also play a significant role in smart city development moving forward. While some cities are struggling to effectively gather the data, it’s importance cannot be understated. Apps that provide crowdsourced traffic information, for instance, could be leveraged and integrated into smart cities to make on-the-fly adjustments to digital traffic signs and signals.
Urban work life is rapidly transforming, and research suggests that smart cities will continue to decentralize the workplace. As connectivity in cities increases, the need to keep an entire team within the confines of the same building, or even the same country, decreases. This is a double-edged sword, however, since at the same time it fosters greater global connectivity, it can also feel isolating to workers who are used to sharing spaces with their peers.