Europe is the home of ‘smart city’ programmes that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage growth and improve services, according to new research.
Smart city programmes will be worth $20.2 billion (£12.6bn) for the world economy by 2020, according to a new report from Navigant Research. It says the market, currently worth $6.1 billion (£3.8bn), will grow by 16.2% every year until then.
The report says the growth in smart city schemes has continued to pick up pace in 2013, with 170 projects now underway around the world. It found Europe is the world’s centre for smart city with around 75 projects in the region.
The Asia Pacific region took second place with more than 40 smart city projects, while North America was not far behind with roughly 35. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa were left trailing behind with fewer than 20 between them.
The report found energy and transport were the biggest targets for smart city projects, with 45% focused on energy and more than 50% relating to transport in some way.
The report is far more conservative than another one released recently by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which predicted the smart city market would be worth more than $400 billion (£250bn) by 2020, with the UK taking a roughly $40 billion (£25bn) slice of the pie. It predicted smart energy technology alone would be worth more than $200 billion (£125bn).