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Trend report lowdown: Smart Cities

Our new Spotlight Trend, which is broken down into three reports, reveals why the smart cities market will be worth $3.5tn by 2026.

Smart Cities… so ‘smart’ as in ‘intelligent’? 

That’s right. Bosch’s Stefan Hartung, speaking at CES in January, warned that “in the long run, cities without intelligence will not survive”.

Why are they at risk? And what does this ‘intelligence’ look like?

Rising temperatures, pollution, overpopulation. To combat these existential threats, cities must adapt to citizens’ needs, cultivate wellbeing and be more resilient to climate change.

In Smart Cities, we talk of an incoming “tsunami of technology” – think artificial intelligence, 5G and blockchain – that, aside from future-proofing cities, will create potentially lucrative opportunities.

Tell me more…

Well, these will be found across transport, urban design and outdoor advertising. Thanks to tech, cities are no longer blind to residents’ needs. In High-Octane Hubs – one of Smart Cities’ three reports – we reveal the huge opportunities presented by accessible mobility, data and radical living alternatives.

What do the other two reports cover?

New Metropolitans looks at the urbanites of tomorrow, whose numbers will reach six billion by 2045. They’re the dynamic driving force of economies, innovation and lifestyle, but they’re also demanding and stressed out – which is why they’re seeking solutions that offer community, calm and flexibility.

Next-Gen Urban Branding explores how brands will start using urban environments as interfaces – and how this will start blurring the boundaries between public space and personal desire. It’s all about finding your urban brandmark.

OK, so two questions. Firstly, will New Metropolitans show me how to connect with these new city dwellers?

It will indeed – initially by challenging your perception of what urbanites look like (clue: they’re not all glamorous young professionals). Then, by exploring their need for easy-access, maximum value products; their wish to improve their health in unlikely environments; and their desire to be part of a community.

Secondly, does Next-Gen Urban Branding essentially reveal the future of urban outdoor advertising?

To an extent, yes. Whereas outdoor advertising used to be static, it’s now becoming dynamic, personalised and connected to wider contextual signals. In the not-too-distant future, brands will be able to adapt their digital out-of-home advertising based on mood and personality.

The report goes on to reveal how brands will become embedded in the infrastructure of smart cities, and how augmented and virtual reality will open up a near limitless virtual space for marketers to play with.

What else will I learn?

You’ll discover who’s replacing the millennials relocating to suburbia, why automated transport services should sell collected data, and how brands can lead the conversation when it comes to using private data. 

If you’re a Stylus member, you can access Smart Cities now. If you’re not, and you’d like to discover the benefits of joining, get in touch.