Annual investment in smart city technology in Asia Pacific will grow from $3 billion in 2014 to $11.3 billion in 2023, according to Navigant Research.
Home to most of the world’s largest and fastest-growing mega-cities, Asia Pacific faces unprecedented challenges related to rapid urbanization. Along with the challenges, however, comes the opportunity to rethink approaches to managing these cities, and offer their inhabitants economic opportunities and meaningful quality of life enhancements, using smart city technologies.
“For many cities in the developed western world, the adoption of smart cities approaches is a choice; for officials in the mega-cities of Asia Pacific, it is a necessity,” says Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. “The list of problems facing contemporary city dwellers in the region includes stressed city finances, inadequate infrastructure, rising energy costs, congested transportation, and competition for global investment and skilled labor. Emerging intelligent systems, however, promise solutions, and cities across the region are starting to implement them.”
In many ways, smart city programs offer opportunities to tackle problems of a national scope, according to the report. Large developing countries like China and India now are running up against physical resource limits, and intelligent systems can reduce the use of energy and water without limiting economic growth. In addition, smart infrastructure can help developed world cities meet energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets and allow governments to deliver better services at lower cost.