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Navigant Research Expects Smart City Programs Will Be Increasingly Standards-Based

The momentum around smart city programs has continued to grow during 2013, as new city initiatives and supplier innovations drive the worldwide smart city market. Suppliers are devising innovative solutions and business models, particularly in terms of partnerships with city governments and other stakeholders.

According to a new tracker report from Navigant Research, as more cities grapple with the complexity of smart city programs, there is a growing movement to define standards and frameworks that enable greater interoperability within and between cities.

“Growing interest in developing standards to support smart city initiatives reflects the scale and diversity of the projects under development,” says Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Research. “For example, most of those standards either already exist or are being developed by the energy or communications industries. The challenge is to map city requirements with those standards and to identify gaps between existing standards initiatives.”

Smart city programs are gaining more support at the national government level, as well, as countries commit to investment in smarter urban infrastructure, according to the report. China has announced an expanded list of 103 city districts, regions, and towns that will be eligible for participation in its 2013 Smart City Pilot Program. In Japan, the government has extended its existing smart community demonstration projects into support for reconstruction programs in the areas worst affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, while in Europe, the U.K. government is building on the success of its £24 million ($37 million) Future Cities Demonstrator competition.

The report, “Smart City Tracker 3Q13”, provides a survey of the current state of smart city developments around the globe in all their diversity. The report covers five key industry sectors as they relate to smart cities: smart energy, smart water, smart transportation, smart buildings, and smart government. It also looks across these sectors at projects that address multiple aspects of city operations. The 170 projects included in this Tracker are segmented by region and by primary industry sector. More than 80 percent of the projects are focused on issues related to energy, transportation, or government.

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