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The Future of Cities and the Promise of IoT

The Future of Cities and the Promise of IoT

Greg James

Greg James

November 16, 2018

Greg James, global chief strategy officer of Havas Media, on redefining the way we live

By 2050, two-thirds of humankind will be living in cities—many in megacities of 10 million or more.

LBB

By Greg James
Global Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Media

Nov. 16, 2018

 

Our planet is in trouble. Most people acknowledge that, and a consensus is growing that shifting global populations into high-density, sustainable urban areas is a potential solution. We will find out soon enough: By 2050, two-thirds of humankind will be living in cities – many in megacities of 10 million or more.

The issue, of course, is not just how to make those cities sustainable, but also how to make them liveable. That is not going to be easy when we are all squeezed together onto what amounts to just 2 percent of the planet’s land surface.

Happily, as Havas Group explores in our most recent Prosumer study – ‘New Cities, New Lives‘ – current and emerging technologies have the capacity to lessen the pain points of the modern-day city, including congestion, inadequate parking, and public transportation, and other common aggravations. In recent years, we have seen apps such as Pango and Pavemint make it easier for people to locate places to park. We’ve seen private companies take on projects that once were the province of municipalities. In the UK, Pavegen is supercharging walking spaces to collect energy that in turn powers streetlights. In Germany, ubitricity is turning street lamps into charging stations for electric cars. New York’s CityBridge consortium is turning the entire metropolis into an uninterrupted Wi-Fi zone.

Beyond these concentrated fixes, we are also seeing the early stages of genuinely smart cities. All eyes are on Canada to see how Sidewalk Labs (an offshoot of Google’s parent company Alphabet) does with its revitalization of Toronto’s Lake Ontario waterfront – which the planners like to call ‘the first neighborhood to be built from the internet up’. Much has been promised, including modular designs, self-driving shuttles, digital kiosks, and LEED-certified homes and buildings.

 

Read the full article

By 2050, two-thirds of humankind will be living in cities—many in megacities of 10 million or more.

LBB

By Greg James
Global Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Media

Nov. 16, 2018

 

Our planet is in trouble. Most people acknowledge that, and a consensus is growing that shifting global populations into high-density, sustainable urban areas is a potential solution. We will find out soon enough: By 2050, two-thirds of humankind will be living in cities – many in megacities of 10 million or more.

The issue, of course, is not just how to make those cities sustainable, but also how to make them liveable. That is not going to be easy when we are all squeezed together onto what amounts to just 2 percent of the planet’s land surface.

Happily, as Havas Group explores in our most recent Prosumer study – ‘New Cities, New Lives‘ – current and emerging technologies have the capacity to lessen the pain points of the modern-day city, including congestion, inadequate parking, and public transportation, and other common aggravations. In recent years, we have seen apps such as Pango and Pavemint make it easier for people to locate places to park. We’ve seen private companies take on projects that once were the province of municipalities. In the UK, Pavegen is supercharging walking spaces to collect energy that in turn powers streetlights. In Germany, ubitricity is turning street lamps into charging stations for electric cars. New York’s CityBridge consortium is turning the entire metropolis into an uninterrupted Wi-Fi zone.

Beyond these concentrated fixes, we are also seeing the early stages of genuinely smart cities. All eyes are on Canada to see how Sidewalk Labs (an offshoot of Google’s parent company Alphabet) does with its revitalization of Toronto’s Lake Ontario waterfront – which the planners like to call ‘the first neighborhood to be built from the internet up’. Much has been promised, including modular designs, self-driving shuttles, digital kiosks, and LEED-certified homes and buildings.

 

Read the full article

Greg's experience spans strategy, media, sponsorship, content, editorial and marketing for brands including Unilever, Nintendo, Vodafone & more.

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