Gartner: IoT Technologies Will Transform Cities Globally

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This article originally appeared on IoT World News, 14 Nov 2016
by Edward Gatley, Contributing Editor, Channel Partners Online

Climate change, resilience and sustainability will be key objectives among smart cities in the coming years, according to Gartner’s smart city predictions.

Climate change, resilience and sustainability will be key objectives among smart cities in the coming years, according to Gartner’s smart city predictions.

By 2020, half of all the smart city objectives will include climate change, resilience and sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs). Cities are defining new objectives and placing them into tangible programs, creating measurable outcomes that meet the targets agreed upon at the COP 21 in Paris to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“With the Horizon 2020 goals of energy efficiency, carbon emission reductions and renewable energy in mind, many cities in Europe have launched energy sustainability, resource management, social inclusion and community prosperity initiatives,” said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

Major world cities have adopted traffic and mobility objectives to resolve or mitigate the traffic congestion issue with Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled smart city solutions, but urban mobility does not “stop at a seamless choice that consist(s) of moving from A to B,” Tratz-Ryan said.

“The uptake of ride-sharing, the electrification of public transportation, the support infrastructure for e-vehicles and congestion charging for combustion engines, all of those examples are driving cleaner air, producing fewer GHG emissions and saving energy, while improving the noise levels and ambience on streets,” she said.

Sensors have become a critical element in the execution of climate change goals and are at the heart of smart cities. In 2017, around 380 million connected things will be in use in cities to deliver sustainability and climate change goals, and this figure will increase to 1.39 billion units in 2020, representing 20% of all smart city connected things in use, according to Gartner. Also in 2017, use cases in smart commercial buildings and transportation will be the main contributors, representing 58% of all IoT installed base in smart cities.

Driven by the Ecodesign directive that requires members of the European Union to phase out their incandescent streetlights by the end of 2016, Gartner analysts expect those sustainability targets will also have a positive investment and innovation impact, especially for the industrial sectors located in urban corridors.

“Cities will become the environmental centers of excellence for new technology development, offering a stress-test environment for the industry,” Tratz-Ryan said. “The advantages for cities will be profound. They will not only meet their mandated targets of the Horizon 2020 goals, but also develop greener and more inclusive city conditions that citizens can acknowledge as KPIs.”

At the same time, the European Union Energy Efficiency Drive means public buildings and private real estate will have to reduce their energy consumption by 3% every year. Today, heating, cooling and lighting are responsible for about 60% of a building’s energy consumption.

“Implementing an integrated business management system (BMS) for lighting and heating, and cooling can reduce energy consumption by 50%,” Tratz-Ryan said. “This is a significant contribution to the commitments of cities to reduce their footprint of GHG.”

Companies that implement a smart LED lighting system could realize a 60-70% savings. By integrating the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system with occupancy and building utilization, savings close to 50% can be achieved, according to Gartner.