A city can be defined as ‘smart’ when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources.
Forces are culminating into what is being called a third industrial revolution characterised by unprecedented access to information, new technologies and information networks. We exist in a networked world, and so do our cities.
Several major metros in South Africa are investigating the potential that smart city technologies have for meeting the needs of an increasingly urbanised population- a population that could see the size of Africa’s cities doubling within the next 15 years. South Africa, as a continental business leader and home to the second-largest economy in Africa, has much in common with Africa when it comes to population age and prospects. The major differentiator for the country lies in its well-developed infrastructure and access to skills. These two factors will prove vital in enabling cities like Johannesburg to launch initiatives ahead of competitive cities elsewhere in Africa.