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Shanghai rated world’s number-one smart city for 2022

What is described as a world-leading citizen data platform propels China’s technical heart as the leading connected conurbation

Juniper Research has ranked Shanghai as the world’s number-one smart city for 2022, after an evaluation including aspects such as transportation and infrastructure, energy and lighting, city management, and technology and urban connectivity.

In the Smart cities: Key technologies, environmental impact and market forecasts 2022-2026 report, the top five smart cities were Shanghai, Seoul, Barcelona, Beijing and New York. The research particularly lauds Shanghai’s Citizen Cloud as a one-stop point for more than 1,000 different services for city residents.

“Many cities have deployed technology and data to help local authorities reduce environmental impact and energy usage,” said research co-author Mike Bainbridge. “The top cities in our recent ranking are finding innovative ways to leverage that technology to deliver observable benefits for their citizens as well.”

In addition to naming the leading smart cities around the world, the research described smart cities as presenting a $70bn opportunity in terms of spend in the area by 2026, which is up from $35bn in 2021. Much of this, said Juniper, will focus on smart grid initiatives, which will save more than 1,000 TWh of electricity in 2026; equivalent to more than five years of energy consumption by Greater London at present levels.

In addition, the research noted that many areas of smart city development are still in their early stages, particularly outside the leading cities, so initial roll-outs still make up much of the market. Juniper Research notes that this means savings made through smart city technologies will remain high. We expect energy savings alone to reach $96bn in 2026, making their deployment highly cost-effective in most instances.

2022 has kicked off with a number of advancements in smart city technology across the globe. As part of its plans to transform into a smart city, Swedish municipality Borås Stad has engaged Extreme Networks, in partnership with NetNordic, to establish what is claimed to be one of the largest cloud-managed network infrastructures.

The new infrastructure in Borås Stad is designed to deliver faster and more advanced connectivity, extending secure public Wi-Fi for its citizens, local government, schools and services, while automating and simplifying network management for the IT team. The transition to a smart city is also intended to provide more sustainable resources to residents, while improving quality of life and fuelling business innovation.

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Meanwhile, in the UK, communications infrastructure provider BAI Communications is to build a 5G-centric network, powered by Mavenir’s MAVedge offering, to accelerate adoption of transformative digital services for sectors including manufacturing and logistics, education and social care, as part of a smart city project for Sunderland City Council.

The initial scope is for the deployment of a city-centre 5G private network which has the potential to evolve and become a neutral host network. Neutral host models provide coverage and connectivity for smart city initiatives, and enable local councils and authorities to provide smart services and run numerous smart community applications in a more viable and cost-effective manner.

The network will aim to help accelerate transformation in various sectors in Sunderland, such as smart homes, digital skills and education, manufacturing, and industry 4.0

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