As millions of people move into cities every week, this puts a huge strain on space, city resources, energy requirements, and infrastructure cost. Cities are being forced to evolve to meet this increased demand, or collapse under the pressure.
This is leading to an increase in the number of Smart City projects — smart grids, networked LED street lights, public Wi-Fi, water management, etc. — that are being implemented around the world, with the number of initiatives nearly doubling over the past few years.
Technology advancements in sensors, edge computing, networks, data platforms, cloud, and services will drive greater adoption and investment, leading to new huge and growing business opportunities, with a market value of $1.5 trillion by 2020. This will be especially evident in emerging economies, where many of the largest and most populous cities will be in the future.
As more people flock to cities, the demand for housing has also increased — as have prices. For the growing contingent of millennials who are faced with a slowly recovering economy, affordability and availability of housing is a challenge, especially in large cities like New York, San Francisco, London, and Hong Kong. To deal with this supply-demand imbalance, micro-housing has become a key trend in U.S. cities, with San Francisco, Seattle and Boston all passing zoning laws to allow for apartments of 400 square feet or less. In 2016, New York City went so far as to approve legislation that lifted a city ban on apartments smaller than 400 square feet.
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