It’s the beginning of January, and that means shaking off the holiday dust and taking a good look at the coming year with fresh eyes. It’s also 2023, which puts us firmly outside the era of COVID lockdowns (pending any unforeseen tragedies) and able to get a glimpse of some of the concrete ways in which COVID has reshaped the places where we live, work, and play. With so many researchers, developers, and analysts having been given extra funding to solve the myriad problems that surfaced with the pandemic since 2020, we’re now starting to see some of the fruits of their labours. So how will our cities change in 2023? Let’s take a look at the five (plus a bonus one!) ways that Smart Cities will evolve in 2023.
1. Smart Health
The most direct consequence of the pandemic, modern health technologies are seeing a massive boom right now. From complex diagnosis systems to large-scale illness prevention initiatives and the infrastructures needed to support them, citizens and governments alike are more aware of public health than ever. Expect to see new ways of tracking infectious disease spread on the nightly news and for your doctors to recommend more bespoke treatments designed with comprehensive data analytics and remote monitoring devices.
2. Smart Transport
With so many large-scale businesses letting their employees work from home indefinitely now, transportation systems are starting to see new needs from their customers. Additionally, the green energy revolution is reaching a point where it’s implementable and sustainable in these kinds of broad industries. Expect to see more electric vehicles and recycled low-carbon construction materials, live-updated visual maps and schedules available everywhere, and maybe even free wifi on the bus!
3. Smart Energy
Smarter, greener energy solutions are steadily ramping up as products like solar panels and wind turbines become more efficient and publicly available. While many governments drag their feet somewhat with implementing these solutions at scale, they’re getting cheap enough that the public can push the industry even further with their own wallets. This will, in turn, create more public pressure to see green energy in city grids. Additionally, with ever-increasing public awareness of our energy usage and how it can change, entrepreneurs and engineers are creating new ways for us to manage our power consumption. Expect to see your power company incorporate more renewables into their services, as well as smart new tech like IoT-enabled water (IoT: Internet Of Things) and power metres for your home, or plugs you can control with your phone.
4. Smart Networks
With all these smart, IoT-enabled technologies becoming more and more prevalent, our current internet networks are going to start seeing some strain. But 5G is becoming more broadly available, and 6G is planned to debut worldwide in 2028, giving us five years to prepare for the next step in wireless access. These facts demand that city authorities and internet service providers adapt the ways they structure their networks. Though it may not be very public-facing, we can expect to see more cities adopt cloud computing services and machine learning algorithms to properly manage this increased demand while physical infrastructure gets slowly updated ahead of 6G.
5. Smart Citizens
The Smart City ideal is impossible to achieve without the citizens who live there being deeply involved. As people become more immersed in their cities and communities, they’ll grow more educated and comfortable with new Smart City technologies, leading to these technologies adapting to the citizen’s needs faster and better than ever. Expect to see apps for reporting issues to authorities, new ways to build and network local communities, and broader discussions about how smart tech can improve our quality of life.
6. Bonus - Smart Noise Solutions
Being as immersed in this issue as we, at NoiseNet, are, it’s impossible to talk about upcoming Smart City trends without talking about the thing we find the most exciting: smart noise solutions. Following last year’s United Nations Frontiers report (which named nuisance noise as one of the greatest emerging threats to public health), we’re seeing more and more governments take noise pollution seriously. This means greater investment in the noise solutions industries and a greater acceptance of monitoring systems like NoiseNet. Expect to see more noise monitors in your area, more green walls around busy areas, and more quiet spaces being developed. If you’re interested in how NoiseNet can help your city, check us out at https://www.noisenet.com/.