Smart cities ‘held back by low budgets’

Global smart city programmes are being held back by limited budgets, a lack of infrastructure and short-term mindsets among stakeholders and policymakers. That’s according to a new report from Philips […]

By Jonny Bairstow

Global smart city programmes are being held back by limited budgets, a lack of infrastructure and short-term mindsets among stakeholders and policymakers.

That’s according to a new report from Philips Lighting and SmartCitiesWorld, which suggests around a tenth of city authorities lack the capacity to implement smart, integrated technologies in their municipality.

It suggests the most common inhibiting factors are financial limitations (23%) and the need for more supporting infrastructure to be in place first (19%).

However, the report shows despite the difficulties in securing smart city investments, projects such as energy efficient, interconnected street lighting in San Jose and Los Angeles can deliver annual cost savings of $9 million (£6.5m), with the upfront cost being repaid within seven years.

It also praises London, Singapore and Barcelona for being the best three smart cities currently in existence.

Andreas Knobloch, Alliance Specialist at Philips Lighting, said: “We must think of city-wide systems as one ecosystem working together.

“At the same time, we all – technologists, local governments, businesses, environmentalists and the general public – must help to build the investment case to enable cities to successfully implement smart city programmes.”