The US is, in many ways, the birthplace of innovation: it was there that Ford launched the first affordable car and there that Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the US has also produced some of the world’s most innovative smart cities. With so many to choose from, we’re going to dive right in and take a look at some of the less obvious smart urban centres to see how they’re changing their city’s physical and social landscape in order to improve the lives of their citizens.
There were an estimated 47 megacities in existence in 2017, and the majority were located in Asia. The region is facing urbanization on a scale far beyond that of other regions, with an estimated 1.1 billion moving into Asian cities in the next 20 years. Many Asian countries are also in areas that are prone to extreme weather patterns or natural disasters, and this is only becoming more of a problem with climate change. Cities across the continent urgently need to prepare for serious population growth, and the strain it will place on their public services, and the risks that environmental changes pose. For this reason, becoming more resilient and ‘smarter’ is inevitably at the top of most Asian cities’ political agendas. In this article we are going to explore some of the Asian cities investing in becoming smarter and more sustainable in order to make their citizens safer and happier.