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It’s a fact of life that most of us are going to be living in cities.

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 68 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by the year 2050.

Research by U.S.-based McKinsey & Company shows that by 2025, 600 cities around the globe will together generate 60 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Currently, there are 29 cities worldwide with populations of more than 10 million people, and cities use between 60 percent and 80 percentof the world’s energy. Lighting alone accounts for up to 19 percent of the world’s electricity consumption.

To manage that many people, cities are going to have to become “smarter,” and for that to happen, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are going to have to collect data, which can then be used to manage assets and resources efficiently.

What Does “Smart” Mean?

Examples of smart management include monitoring and managing: traffic and transportation systems, power and water supply networks, waste management systems, information systems, schools, libraries, and hospitals.

In 2014, the U.S. consulting firm Frost & Sullivan identified eight key aspects that define a smart city: “smart governance, smart energy, smart building, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart healthcare and smart citizens.”

In the creation of smart cities, Europe and Asia are out ahead of the United States. The European Union (EU) has its “Digital Agenda for Europe,” which focuses on innovation and investment in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

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