FUTURE OF THE CITY: SMARTER CITIES, SMARTER LIVING
‘Future of the City: Smarter Cities, Smarter Living’ sounds like an interesting topic. However, it feels like the vision and debate needs some new sparks that push the conversation and thus the solutions forward.
It was interesting to hear Erik Brenneis dispute the title of the session. According to him, there is no such a thing as the city of the future. The city of the future is here now, perhaps not all in one city, but there are already many cities using technology to become more livable and efficient. Barcelona itself boosts over 15,000 contactless-enablesd PoS systems for its consumers. Even though many cities are walking in the right direction, we hope we are not DONE transforming them into better places with the aid of technology. Where is the vision for interactive buildings and infrastructures, intelligent communication architectures, mobility systems in constant communication with each other, an integrated risk management strategy, and a focus on using things in a sustainable way instead of ownership as the only option turning consumers into producing consumers.
Manuel Sanromà, CIO of the Barcelona City Council, does agree. He thinks that we still don’t have the Internet of things, data, and processes, and that technology has yet to change the city. Neither does he believe in smart cities, just in smart citizens. However, he does advocate for a network of cooperating cities and a City Protocol that comprises the agreements, standards, recommendations, and apps that are considered to be best practices.
But as Erik said, there’s something else cities can do. They can shape the right form of regulation, and they can make investments themselves.
Brands and enterprises, already deeply entrenched in city development just as in city landscaping, find a futile ground to innovate around their own services and content where they can bring to life in the city of the future. More than ever can marketers ask themselves, “what is the value we can provide,” now coming to a city near you.
What is certain is, that the city is here to stay. Let’s collectively make it a better place.