Positive Investment Enterprise

Smart Cities – Intelligent Urban Growth

Posted on: 30/03/2015


2015 will be a defining year that marks the ascent of Smart Cities. A smart city is one in which the seams and structures of the various urban systems are made clear, simple, responsive and even malleable via contemporary technology and design. Citizens are not only engaged and informed in the relationship between their activities, their neighbourhoods, and the wider urban ecosystems, but are actively encouraged to see the city itself as something they can collectively tune, such that it is efficient, interactive, engaging, adaptive and flexible, as opposed to the inflexible, mono functional and monolithic structures of many 20th century cities.

Key to this is the idea of measurement; of infrastructure, buildings and activities reporting their state and behaviour to systems that learn and adapt in response. These systems could be technological, legislative or social. The maxim “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” applies here, and so the idea that urban fabric and activity can be ‘instrumented’ and measured in detail, and acted upon instantly, enables a new form of management, operation and engagement, perhaps equivalent to the difference between a traditional high street bookstore and Amazon.com. The latter is a constantly shifting, scalable system that is automatically generated ‘on the fly’ by constant learning from millions of interactions in near-real time, within a framework that enables both top-down intervention and bottom-up organisation.


Now leading cities have started to push this concept further. They are exploring how smart cities can add value within a strategic framework. This will mean moving from departmental solutions to a city wide approach and creating economies of scale. Governance structures must reflect political priorities and deliver clear leadership for smart services. Cities need to develop an architecture in which technology can evolve, providing space for global players to create value and start ups to innovate. Citizens need to see the value in these services and have access to them through well designed interfaces. We at Positive believe smart cities will become an integral part of the tool kit for our political and civil leaders to create 21st century cities and regions, better equipped to deal with climate change, population growth, demographic change and resource depletion, often in an environment of financial constraints.

Positive Investment Enterprise is committed in the long run to invest, develop and deliver smart city frameworks, solutions and technologies of the future. Part of this strategy is to work in collaboration with local governments to develop processes, technologies and systems that constitute the fundamentals of a smart city through “Urban Accelerators“. These Urban Accelerators are current and future property developments that work in tandem with smart governance and will facilitate in testing ‘proof of concepts’ that form the building blocks of a smart city.

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