Top 10 Smart Cities – Creating an Innovative Ecosystem
The top 10 smart cities around the world can be considered to have one thing in common. They have gone out of their way to be proactive in promoting innovation. In doing so, they are not only setting a precedent for the future, but they are also helping themselves and their communities become better off as a result. Some may consider these accomplishments to be unnecessary due to the fact that there are already many advanced cities; perhaps the United States is too far behind other countries when it comes to innovation and technology implementation. Others will argue that some of these technologically advanced cities such as New Delhi and Sydney were selected due to their natural characteristics or because of their proximity to existing international business centers such as Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Cockatoo Island.
However, regardless of the reasoning, there is no denying that the top 10 smart cities around the world have one thing in common; they have gone ahead and invested in creating an environment where business leaders can come together to discuss and stimulate the economy. These cities understand that the key to economic growth is to create an environment where business owners, investors, employees, consumers, and entrepreneurs can all thrive. Investing in local business development is crucial. It allows businesses to tap into markets that would otherwise be untapped and allows them to develop relationships with key decision makers in the local economy. For example, a real estate agent in downtown Sydney who leads a team of local developers and stakeholders working in the Central Business District will find himself in regular meetings with the CEO’s of major multinational companies as well as small business owners.
No discussion of the smart city movement would be complete without mention of the emerging global phenomenon of smart city innovation. Smart City Tours and conferences abound throughout the world and are specifically designed to provide business owners with the unique opportunity to become part of the conversation. Smart City initiatives are creating a much-needed awareness of the importance of innovation and the benefits that come with it. These tours offer a unique window into the actual topics and issues that are being tackled around the world and allow visitors to participate in the dialogue.
The idea behind smart cities and innovation is simple: by putting together the most talented and successful people, the greatest inventions and innovations can occur. Smart Cities and their associated programs are helping to make this happen. One such initiative launched in Toronto, Canada, named after the city’s financial district, is a program designed to foster the growth of the” Ontario Brain Valley”. This area contains some of the country’s leading technology companies. In addition to leading in innovation and creation of new technologies, the city is ranked highly for its commitment to open its arms to the “innovation pipeline”.
Top ranked Vancouver, British Columbia has also launched an innovative program called” Vive Carbon” to encourage innovation and “green technology” development. The goal is to create a world-class information and communications technology system by supporting research and development of carbon-based technologies and promoting sustainable urban development. While other smart cities and sustainable cities around the world are striving to create resilient cities by building communities that embrace equity, sustainability and social justice. This effort is creating a more equitable, functional and livable city for residents and businesses.
The idea of creating a smarter, more sustainable and innovation-driven society has been around for years. As societies become more developed, many issues related to environmental issues tend to get overlooked. These issues often represent barriers to innovation and potential growth. Building a smarter, sustainable and innovation-driven society requires greater focus on issues of environmental impact, which is why cities like Vancouver have been ranked highest in the world for its ability to effectively address this issue. The ranking will likely continue to be high in the coming years as other cities work towards addressing these issues.
There are also smart city initiatives underway in London, England, which includes rethinking how the city increases its cycling capacity. A scheme recently implemented to increase cycling lanes throughout the city resulted in more than double the number of cycling trips taken in the last year. The effort has made it one of the world’s leaders in cycling infrastructure development. Other initiatives include creating an automated transport system that would allow people to use public transport more easily, which would make trips easier and affordable.
Although other large cities have made notable achievements in regards to their ability to innovate and create smart solutions, there is still no debate that Vancouver is the city with the most innovation potential. It is clear that other cities, while doing their best, cannot keep up. If you look at what is happening in other cities around the world, they are constantly trying to find new ways to increase their innovation ecosystems. By following Vancouver’s lead, other cities can look to emulate and adopt the best practices being applied in Vancouver. We have seen this strategy in action when Apple released the iPad, which revolutionized the industry. Now with its accessibility and affordable price, this innovative piece of technology has helped make tablet PCs even more accessible to the general public.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.