The use of digital and high-tech devices is transforming cities’ infrastructure by influencing different aspects including construction, manufacturing, and supply change management. According to the U.N.’s World Cities Report of 2016 estimates show that the global smart city market will grow by 14 percent annually, from US$506.8 billion in 2012 to US$1.3 trillion in 2019. Over the next two decades, city governments in the US will invest approximately US$41 trillion to upgrade their infrastructure and take advantage of the Internet of Things (IOT). With China’s cities projected to grow by 350 million people over the next 20 years, investment in smart cities is expected to exceed US$159 billion in 2015 and US$320 billion by 2024. In 2014, India announced plans to build 100 smart cities in response to the country’s growing population and pressure on urban infrastructure. Sounds amazing, right?
In order to realize the potential of smart cities, an enabling environment has to be created with participatory governance models and the right infrastructure and technical platforms, including capacity building, ensuring inclusion, and bridging the digital divide. To turn this picture into a reality, many smart initiatives need to be taken into consideration. The word smart initiatives refers to the implementation of the concept widely known as Internet of Things (IoT) by using a combination of information and communication technology (ICT) and various physical devices connected to the network to improve the efficiency of city operations. This type of implementation requires huge capital investment, a challenge that must be met by means of Public Private Partnerships (P3). P3 is a contractual arrangement between private and public sectors, where a large capital investment is made while sharing risks and rewards.
To pursue smart city strategies, thinking out of the box and partnering in new ways is important and this is where OST comes into play. We have third-party financing partners by our side who are ready to support us in any future P3 initiatives for the government and help us mitigate financial challenges with a proven, reliable, and transformational solution. The Smart Cities experts at OST help implement feasibility studies, strategic recommendations, and integration, engineering, telecommunication, and project management services to transform the metropolitan city to a “Smart City.”
Strong relationships and strong partnerships are needed to move towards a smart future. OST looks forward to being a trusted advisor and partner on the journey to build Smart Cities.