Personal tools

Smart Infrastructures

Washington Monument_100822A
[Washington Monument, Washington D.C.]


- overview

Every week, more than 3 million people move to urban areas around the world. As cities grow rapidly, so do environmental, economic and social challenges. Comprehensive digitization and the targeted use of data are key to meeting these challenges.

More residents mean greater demand for private and public infrastructure, a liveable environment with enough space to live, work and study, good mobility options and safety and security.

With smart buildings and innovative smart energy systems at its core, smart cities are poised to meet these demands. Smart infrastructure lays the foundation for technologically advanced urban communities characterized by improved urban operations, high quality of life, and a sustainable agenda.


- Smart Digital Infrastructure

Smart cities are about using digitalization to create future-proof, self-optimizing, sustainable urban communities where people love to live, work and learn. They provide an environment that improves the lives of everyone: residents, businesses, students and staff, and visitors. At the same time, smart cities are efficient, resilient, and minimize their environmental impact. 

Smart digital infrastructure helps improve understanding and control of operations and optimizes the use of finite resources in cities. One of the key value propositions of ICT in smart cities is the ability to capture and share information in a timely manner.

After a decade of trial and error, municipal leaders realized that a smart city strategy starts with people, not technology. "Smart" is more than installing digital interfaces in legacy infrastructure or simplifying city operations. It also involves the purposeful use of technology and data to make better decisions and provide a better quality of life.


[Leuven, Belgium]

- Smart Cities: Four Infrastructure Investment Opportunities

Here are four infrastructure considerations that can make smart cities "smarter" and more resilient: 
  • Enabling Technologies: The accelerated development of new technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and edge computing is driving the evolution of smart cities. We are in the early stages of the edge computing revolution, and it is critical to support the exponential growth in the number of connected devices and the massive growth in collected data. Investments in reliable technology and high-speed connectivity are at the heart of building smart cities. With critical infrastructure interconnected, cities must be aware of adversary vulnerabilities. Telecom and technology companies must step up cooperation with governments and invest in reliable networks, cybersecurity and backup systems.
  • Building & Construction: Decarbonizing the sector is one of the most cost-effective ways to mitigate climate change. Commercial buildings account for 20 percent of U.S. energy use, 30 percent of which is wasted. Smart solutions can transform them into energy-efficient and sustainable buildings, while also automating how they are managed. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement that all buildings must achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the need for smart buildings will only increase.
  • Energy: Improve energy procurement, management and deployment. As cities consume more than two-thirds of the world's energy,4 there is intense pressure to transition to a low-carbon energy system. Investments in smart technologies can accelerate transformation while bringing about economic growth and competition. Major investments in smart grids, next-generation energy transmission and distribution networks that automatically monitor energy flows and adjust accordingly to changes in supply and demand.
  • Smart Water & Waste Management: Access to clean water and the ability to treat wastewater and how to better manage waste are increasingly becoming concerns for cities. Water loss and flooding are also a growing threat under the influence of climate change and rapid urbanization. City planners were forced to upgrade aging drainage systems. This need brings smart solutions to the fore, including leak and contamination detection and predictive maintenance planning. On the waste side, invest in timely waste collection, using sensors to optimize collection. The traditional bin-to-landfill model of waste management is being replaced by circular waste management, which emphasizes reducing waste at source through improved use of packaging, strategic collection methods and distributed waste-to-energy solutions.

 [More to come ...]

Document Actions