Microcity clusters to boost global urban tech adoption

Tuesday, 16 February, 2021

Microcity clusters to boost global urban tech adoption

Global tech market advisory firm ABI Research has found that there are currently over 13,000 microcities globally. Microcity clusters are generally located in and around airports, ports, international rail stations, venues, malls, corporate and university campuses, office parks, and other highly concentrated urban zones. Microcity clusters are dense aggregators of economic and social life and, although COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of these dense urban clusters, their role as engines of economic growth will remain unchallenged, according to ABI Research.

Dominique Bonte, VP End Markets and Verticals at ABI Research, predicts that microcities will remain hotbeds for urban technology innovation. Common technologies deployed across all microcity types include smart cameras and biometrics, robotics and automation, digital signage, private Wi-Fi and 5G networks.

“They allow addressing specific challenges related to people flow management, access and security, overall customer experience and environmental impact, while generating cost savings through maximising operational efficiencies,” said Bonte.

Unsurprisingly, a range of smart cities technology vendors and service providers are focusing their product and solution strategies on one or more microcity types. Examples include Nokia (private 5G networks for cargo ports), IBM (data analytics and AI for ports), Cisco (IoT platforms for ports) and Siemens (industrial systems for airports, campuses and railway stations).

While microcities will continue to define the urban footprint, future urbanisation concepts will shift from ultra-clusters to more distributed, smaller-scale microcities. The shift will occur as new linear, pedestrianised and suburban city designs, informed by sustainability and digital lifestyle imperatives, start taking hold.

At the same time, new forms of mobility such as underground high-speed transit, like ultrafast trains and hyperloops, will ensure spreading urban zones remain hyperconnected. These findings are from ABI Research’s Smart Urban Concepts: Microcities and Cities-in-a-City application analysis report. Application analysis reports provide an in-depth analysis of key market trends and factors for a specific application, which could focus on an individual market or geography.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Production Perig

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