Rise of Smart Cities: 5 Important Questions

How does Simulation and Digital Twins fit with the idea of Smart Cities? We travelled to the Smart City Expo in Barcelona to find out…

The Smart City phenomena is growing at 30% increments yearly and worth over £1.3 Trillion, the industry is expanding faster than it can be defined. The Smart City Expo World Congress has become a Mecca for the Smart City ecosystem that is emerging in all verticals of industry. This year we attended the Expo in Barcelona to join this growing global discussion and to begin asking the important questions:

Slingshot and Smart Cities: Why?

It’s the only Expo that offers a home for Digital Twins

David McKee, CTO & Founder

The Expo gave us an opportunity to understand the market landscape around Smart Cities and how Simulation-as-a-Service Software fits in to it. It also allowed us to show others how Digital Twins will contribute massively to the Smart City development.

It is one of the only exhibitions in the world that focuses on innovation within cities and therefore provides an ideal home for the digital twin concept that Slingshot is directed by.

You could talk to 10 different people at the Expo and get 100 responses as to what a Smart City is. By learning from other people and educating them on our own Smart City definition we can begin to tell our story of digital twins and how it connects with the Smart City system.

Alan English, Chairman

What is “Smart” to Slingshot?

With so many definitions of “Smart” now in play, our definition harks back to the traditional business objectives of smart: Sustainable, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound.

As many of the organisations present at the Expo deploy their solutions we can ask the questions: why are they deploying this and how can we help them achieve their goals using our “smart” premise?

Our Simulation tool provides such a mechanism to measure smart cities, positioning us at the hub not only how we can develop smarter systems but giving these innovations purpose through simulating outcomes.

In today’s era of climate emergencies sustainability is critical as is timeliness- if we are building smart systems and cities we need to make sure we are measuring what we build and that we are doing it in a realistic time frame.

David McKee

Smart Cities: What is our Focus?

We are clearly still within the technology trigger phase of the Gartner Hype Cycle. A huge wave that has not yet peaked.

David McKee

Currently about 50% of the Smart City Expo was focused on smart lighting and infrastructure such as Streets, road signs, utilities. Other focuses included dashboards that could present smart data to users in a readable fashion.

The bigger question for us was why are we creating smart city elements rather than what we are creating.

For the Leeds city it’s about using these elements to focus on supporting healthy and productive regional growth and increasing quality of life within these developments.

For Slingshot Simulations it is all about position ourselves within both the what and the why: Learning to harness the key technological elements intended for a Smart City and applying them to the societal issues.

What is our Biggest Challenge?

Currently every institution, organisation, speaker, start-up and government’s definition of what a Smart City is seems to be unique and different from one another. This makes the greatest challenge to be consolidating those definitions into a concept that will serve all purposes and aspirations for Smarter City Living.

Slingshot aims to use their platform as a means of positioning themselves within these definitions as a method of unification between all the ideas.

Why go to a Smart City Expo?

The Smart City Expo will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary next year. Following the success Slingshot encountered at the Expo this year, this is why we believe it is worth the journey:

  1. Shares and inspires innovation
  2. Helps towards a unified concept of a Smart City
  3. Opportunity to connect and collaborate with global innovators

Other Events we’ve been to…

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