Having just returned from the Smart City Expo in Barcelona it was a great & truly international event. What is clear is how cities & municipalities from all over the world want to embrace smart city technologies.
The United Nations state 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050. Embracing new intelligent technologies that facilitate residents becoming “Smart Citizens” will be key to this expansion. After all a Smart City is only relevant and useful if the information improves the mobility, health and quality of life of its residents, whilst reducing costs for all.
Just over 1/3 of attendees were from Spain or Spanish speaking countries and having our distributor for these regions – Viarium Technologies, Madrid on hand to answer enquiries and demonstrate the product was hugely valuable.
We had enquiries through Latin America, Israel, US, Slovenia and Finland to name just a few. Much of the interest was from the cities themselves however, there was also very strong interest from some of the world’s biggest technology and telecommunications companies. Cisco, Telefonica and Albertis Telecom all attended the stand and were interested to understand how “Smart Parking” could fit within their existing smart city solutions and networks.
A key differentiator is that Smart Parking offers a very attractive business case and quick return on investment compared to many smart city initiatives. Whilst many initiatives such as smart lighting produce significant savings they can be over a long period. This produces challenges for cities where decision makers are in place for a 3-5 year cycle. Smart Parking returns on investment, often measured in months, rather than years, combined with huge time and fuel cost savings for the motorist make it an attractive proposition for all. As stated above it improves the mobility and quality of life of its residents, whilst reducing costs for all.