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Smart Buildings and Cities

The best and most obvious example of these markets evolving is smart buildings and smart cities. The catalyst for smart cities is population growth, with the population becoming more urbanized. Predictions are that seventy percent of the world's population will be in cities by 2050. Urbanization spawns buildings and requires building owners and the city community to take responsibilities for sustainability, energy management, and livability. Here's a short list of mutual issues for cities and smart buildings:

b Energy: Cities need secured and adequate energy supplies. Energy also affects the environment of a city and the cost of living. The city's utility grid needs to communicate with the cities' buildings, and the power grid. Individual buildings should acquire, analyze, and share energy data. Major buildings and large developments should be encouraged to develop microgrids with a variety of energy sources to improve reliability, stability, and efficiency. Communication between the grid and the buildings allows for demand response, but, also sets up the microgrids as energy sources especially when the grid's capacity is being taxed.

b Water Distribution Systems: Humans can live without energy; but they can't without water. Water is our most precious resource so cities as well as building owners need to undertake water conservation and waste water treatment. Much like energy monitoring, real-time monitoring and management of water should be required, not only for consumption metrics, but also for leak detection.

b Transportation: Traffic congestion and a lack of alternative transportation modes are major negatives when it comes to a city's livability and its economy. Traffic oftentimes is the top complaint citizens have about their city. Cities need to deploy intelligent traffic systems such as traffic signal control systems, license plate recognition, and real-time data from other systems to utilize predictive analytics in reducing travel times. However, it is critical that the road system be supplemented by alternative modes of transportation. Large developments and buildings are typically part of the transportation plan, with some cities requiring building owners to have a transportation management program and a plan for trip reductions in order to reduce traffic and parking loads.

b Public Safety: Safety and security is key to a city and its buildings. For the city it involves multiple agencies and organizations; police, fire, emergency, courts, neighborhood groups, and more. The city is in a position to collect intelligence, use predictive data analytics, communications and situational awareness to help in predicting crime areas.

Building owners are generally proactive and do a security risk assessment which involves systems to protect building occupants, resources, the building structure, and continuity of operations. While a city and a building owner have the same security and safety goals, their scope is different but complimentary.

b Digital Services: Cities as well as buildings need to deploy electronic and internet services. This may be smartphone apps for finding your way in a building or a city, as well as interacting with a city official or a building manager electronically, essentially providing convenience.

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