Cities of the future

December 2015

A NUMBER OF CITIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE BECOMING ‘SMART CITIES’ – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF CITIES AND HOW IS OPUS HELPING TO EXPLORE SMART CITIES?

Urban population accounts for 54% of the total global population – up from 34% in 1960, and growing. As urban population grows, so do urban problems – from congestion and pollution to resource scarcity and energy inefficiency. Worldwide, interest has grown in exploring the use of smart cities approaches to address issues, grow jobs and to improve citizens’ quality of life.

What is a smart city?

Smart cities can be viewed as a broad, integrated approach to improving the efficiency of city operations, its citizens’ quality of life, and growing the local economy.

This results in innovative, sustainable, efficient and liveable urban centres. Ultimately, smart cities are about improving people’s lives.

Smart cities and OPUS

Opus recognises that the cities around the world that are getting ‘smart’ right are doing so not because they have invested in a wide range of technology to run and monitor all aspects of day-to-day life, but because they have invested in the right technology, people and businesses to improve life for the people who call their city home.

One aspect of Opus’ work around smart cities includes a project led by Louise Baker, Principal Transportation Consultant. She is leading a team of researchers who are writing three strategic research papers for Auckland Council to set the scene for a ‘Smart Auckland’; the third paper is titled ‘Smart Transport: Opportunities for Auckland’.

Louise has developed a strong track record in research relating to smart cities, with a particular focus on transport and technology. She has also made several recent conference presentations, including presenting ‘A Travel Demand Management Digital Safari’ at the Association for Commuter Transport conference in Baltimore, Maryland USA. You can connect with Louise’s progress and thoughts on smart cities and transport on Twitter: @digital_TP

Louise Baker, email: louise.baker@opus.co.nz

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