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Webrain Reports Archive

#192 – The Responsive City

For a number of years, the “smart city” has been touted as the next big thing – a fully connected digital metropolis that brings science fiction style amenities to everyday living. So, where are the smart cities? Not surprising, it turns out that realizing these dreams is far more complex and expensive than may have been originally expected. Even though there have been numerous smart city projects enacted around the globe, the idea of a complete end-to-end implementation remains elusive. But it appears that momentum may be building to finally move in that direction. Now city planners are moving toward smart cities with a new bottom-up approach designed around the specific needs of citizens.


Webrain suggests “smart cities” are not the end game, but rather are stepping stones to “responsive cities” that respond to the real-time needs of their citizens and provide rich interconnectivity. Another motivator? Money. It is estimated that responsive cities will represent $1.5 trillion of business within 20 years. Webrain believes that a people-centric focus, strong market-making incentive, and new smart city technologies will combine to make the Citizen-oriented Responsive City a reality. But the Responsive City is much more than just the government and public sector activities that are often at the center of implementing smart city initiatives. It also includes all the retail shops and their supply chains, all the transportation options available to the citizens, all the office buildings supporting the workforces; in short, it can encompass everything that is happening within the city’s boundaries. The Responsive City lives and breathes on data, and companies that can provide the infrastructure, sensing network, and computing power necessary to keep the data flowing stand to claim their share of the $1.5 trillion pie. Will your company be one of them?

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