Real estate and infrastructure developers must embrace smart cities

The planet is urbanising at an eye-watering pace and scale. In the next 40 years, we will double the total urbanised area of the planet. The challenges this creates in terms of social instability and stress on urban infrastructure and resources will be significant.

We are standing on the cusp of a construction and development extravaganza and the decisions we take today will literally shape the planet for generations to come. For real estate and infrastructure developers – business as usual simply won’t cut it, says Smart Cities expert Dan Byles.

The world needs to build a new city of a million people every week, for the next 40 years. How do we ensure the infrastructure put in place in the coming decades will be resilient, sustainable and improve people’s quality of life?

The former UK Member of Parliament, and Chair of the All Party Smart Cities Group says that the Smart Cities approach – using technology and harnessing the power of data, connectivity, and computing at the edge – is essential if we are to manage this unstoppable tide of urbanisation, 

“We are only just beginning to fully leverage the incredibly disruptive power of these new technologies and there will not be a single sector that will remain unaffected, including the construction and real estate sectors. This represents a challenge to existing companies and professionals in those sectors, but also a fantastic opportunity.

“The construction sector in particular has historically been slow to innovate. But organisations that don’t get their heads around the changes technology is already bringing to this sector, and embrace those changes within their own business models, will start to fall behind. The buildings and infrastructure they design and build will ultimately have a lower value and higher long term operational costs than the connected, data-driven, autonomous, predictive, smart buildings and infrastructure that their rivals are building.”

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April 15, 2016