It encompases a plethora of systems, structures, data and integration, making it a vast and complex topic for stakeholders and city planners alike. Investment in smart mobility, too, is complex. Funding and support mechanisms must be established and prioritised early on in a smart city’s life to ensure that all sectors of the modernistic settlement develop efficiently and successfully.
But, with such a range of things to balance, how do smart cities decide whether to focus on short-term or long-term objectives?
According to a recent webinar by SmartCitiesWorld, nearly 60% of all public sector leaders agree that a focus on short-term planning impedes long-term goals. Furthermore, 80% cite “driving innovation” as an important priority, as well as advanced analytics as one of the most important capabilities.
Despite this, many smart cities cannot hope to function perfectly without any short-term goals. According to funding bodies and stakeholders these, too, are integral to slowly build up smart sectors. They are also vital to how tech companies and entrepreneurs form and deliver new products and services which need to keep up with city-wide demands.
Hyundai Motor Company, as a recent example, have released a bold short-term plan called “Strategy 2025”. In just five years they hope to secure their position as a frontrunner in the future mobility industry. In this initiative they offer two new aspects to their business: Smart Mobility Device and Smart Mobility Service.
Smart Mobility Device include a wide range of product groups beyond automobiles such as Personal Air Vehicle (PAV), robotics, and last-mile mobility. Smart Mobility Service is a new area of business for Hyundai that will be fostered as a key strategic pillar for future businesses. Services and contents will be personalized and offered through an integrated platform to maximize value for customers.
In contrast, one of the biggest concerns for long-term smart mobility is that of climate change.
Evidently, this is not an issue we can ignore and represents one that is slowly becoming more reported in the global media. In fact, in the UK, a recent report titled the “Urban Voices Report” recently revealed that nearly 30% of respondents ranked either the development of local infrastructure or sustainable transport highly on their agenda.
Air quality is also rising up the priority list, the research finds, as over 40 UK cities and towns are at or have exceeded World Health Organization air pollution limits.
The balance between short-term and long-term development is evidently a difficult issue to get right. Particularly in a time where global pressing concerns are affecting everyday city life, this balance has the potential to dramatically affect smart cities in the future. So, how can stakeholders, companies and actors get this right?
The city of Barcelona may be a good example of this.
As the second-largest city in Spain and one of Europe’s leading cultural, economic and financial centres and an important transport and logistics hub. When the ‘smart city’ was an embryonic idea, Barcelona was busy deploying responsive technologies across urban systems such as public transit, parking, street lighting and waste management.
Now, after many years of smart city development and recognition as a leader in techno-centric innovation, Barcelona’s leaders are committed to another ground-breaking vision of a new economic, social and environmental model. By implementing this vision on both micro and macro scales, the city intends to give more power to citizens while protecting their digital rights and applying digital strengths to solve urban problems.