I am always so inspired when I read about the latest smart cities initiatives. From Charlotte, N.C., to Philadelphia, Pa., to Aurora, Ill., it seems nearly every city has a story of how it is trying to better itself, all with the help of the IoT (Internet of Things).

It seems growth in this area is imminent. Absolute Markets Insights predicts that global smart cities market will surge 21% by 2027, driven, of course, by the rapid urbanization that we have been talking about for years.

The question that remains is: How are we going to build all this? How will this country’s contractors and builders help to construct the next great frontier of smart, connected cities?

Perhaps the best way to move forward is to look to other examples across the country. The City of Philadelphia, for instance, has its SmartCityPHL Initiative in order to better understand and implement smart and emerging technology solutions that would improve the city. Its guiding principles are locally-inspired, equitable, innovative, and collaborative. Recently, it selected a connected lighting solution to add to its initiative.

You can’t help but see the future in the vision of what these cities are doing today. For instance, a key component of this initiative has been to develop a roadmap of strategies and processes to drive the initiative forward and serve as a tool to spur innovation and collaboration.

Not surprisingly, I had a similar conversation with Tom Kelly, director of capital development and building administration for the Charter County of Wayne, Mich., on a recent episode of Constructech TV. He shared how the center of the automotive capital of the Midwest is leveraging public-private partnerships.

The only way we are going to build smart, connected cities is through collaboration and partnership. We know cities are going to evolve and encompass more than just connectivity and AI (artificial intelligence). We need everyone involved including the cities, the contractors, the subs, and even the solutions providers to come together to collaborate on the best ways to scale smart-city rollouts, especially considering the emergence of 5G.

This is a topic we will narrow in on at our Constructech Technology Days event, being held August 21-22, 2019 in Arlington Heights, Ill. We will identify ways to build sustainable cities of tomorrow, while incorporating innovative tech and addressing future infrastructure needs and the labor shortage.

Do you see the power of this discussion? Then join us as a speaker, exhibitor, and an attendee, to help spur this discussion and drive the collaborative relationships that are so sorely needed to bring our cities to that next level. While we will engage in hearty debates in August, let’s open the discussion today, right here. What are your thoughts? Do smart cities really mean what the name implies and that means, building smart?

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Peggy Smedley
Peggy Smedleyeditorial director