Cities of the Future
Technology is playing an increasingly central role in the modernization of today’s cities.
While architectural design has seen a shift to taller, slimmer, and sleeker buildings, the innovative systems that these buildings contain are taking even more dramatic steps forward. Today, the prevalence of smart technology is a significant draw for prospective tenants, and when combined with smart buildings’ sustainability potential, the cities of the future are truly those which embrace these emerging technologies.
Put simply, a “smart” city is one which uses technology to improve quality of life and provides its residents, visitors and businesses with the information necessary to make progressive decisions. Technology such as smart thermostats, energy-efficient HVAC systems, high-speed internet, and digital assistants are just three examples. The effective use of these types of systems can greatly improve living experiences for citizens of smart cities and empower them to lower their collective carbon footprint. A city becomes “smart” when its buildings–across all sectors–favor these systems over more outdated and inefficient ones that ultimately waste money, energy, and time.
Trends show that the transition to becoming a smart city is a priority for many locations across the country such as Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Boston specifically was among the first cities to embrace smart initiatives, opening its Innovative District in 2010 as a place for entrepreneurs to collaborate on startups and other innovative goals. A recent report found that 75% of cities will attempt to end their communities’ digital divide by 2025, likely by prioritizing high-speed internet as a public utility. Another article states that the growth of smart cities will be at its fastest in the Americas, predicting that Smart City Investment may reach $158 billion by 2022. Further, estimates show that smart cities such as Tokyo have the potential to improve their energy efficiency by 30% over the next 20 years.
This final statistic has become among the most prominent as buildings owners and residents become more environmentally conscious. Not only does smart building technology make life easier and provide significant ROI, but it is an invaluable source of energy savings. As more cities embrace initiatives to eliminate their emissions entirely over the next few decades, smart technology has provided ways to meet that goal while improving quality of life. In fact, research shows that “green” buildings that have achieved certifications such as LEED and WELL have been shown to be increasingly popular and have higher occupancy rates alongside lower operating costs.
The existence of smart building technology is only one part of the equation; the ways in which residents interact with their buildings is equally important, including the ability for residents to assign a personal assistant tasks that might otherwise require a vehicle and automating other services to cut down on energy usage.
Residents expect technology to be part of their daily experience, and with 61% of this country feeling isolated, only further enhanced by the pandemic; Community building initiatives have the opportunity to tangibly improve this while improving a business’ bottom line.
“Having a community management program is extremely important in order to understand residents. This was not an easy task to do before technology. Now that we have the tools, we are able to create inclusive communities that evolve with the residents.” — Jessica Beck, Co-Founder and COO of Alfred
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