International companies and states invest in smart cities creation

Based on the forecasts regarding the global urbanization growth, cities are now striving to adapt their infrastructure to future changes and digitalize it. The first modern smart city concept was developed in 2008 by IBM as part of the Smarter Planet global program.
This concept had spread across the planet by early 2009, and today many international companies are expanding their competencies and financing the development of the future cities. The detailed master plans for six well-known projects funded by private companies and governments are already being developed, and high-tech solutions are being launched in smart cities and districts.

Toyota smart area at the foot of Mount Fuji

At the CES 2020 trade fair, Toyota and the BIG architectural bureau showed the plans to build the Toyota Woven City, a smart city to be located at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan. The new city will become a full-scale laboratory, in which Toyota will be able to test the best high-tech solutions, from unmanned vehicles to the hydrogen energy infrastructure and robotic support services.

All the buildings in the city will be built of wood and equipped with roof solar panels. Also, the developers' plan provides for special lanes for unmanned vehicles and micromobility means (bicycles, electric scooters, etc.) to be established on the city roads.

YarraBend innovative city by Tesla

In 2017, Tesla announced a new city project to be deployed on 16.5 hectares, 6.5 km away from Melbourne, Australia. The city will be developed by the Glenville developing company. The residential property pre-sale has already started. The developers expect new residents to move there in the next few years.

The houses will be equipped as the Tesla showrooms. All buildings in the city will be provided with roof solar panels and energy storage systems. The street infrastructure will include electric vehicle charging stations and an energy-efficient lighting system.

Floating City by the Systending Research Institute in French Polynesia

The project of a non-profit research organization is aimed at creating a floating city model to create extra residential territories outside the mainland and to restore the water resources of the Pacific. The floating city project is based on environmental principles establishing the use of environmentally friendly materials and alternative energy sources, the efficient use of resources, and solutions aimed at maintaining the biodiversity of the aquatic fauna.

And although the project is experimental, the Systending floating city might become an alternative to replace artificial islands the irreversibly change the existing aquatic ecosystem.

NEOM: Smart city in Saudi Arabia

The project is a key part of the vision for economy development and diversification of Saudi Arabia until 2030. Despite the fact that NEOM is funded by the government, the project is focused on international cooperation. People from all over the world will live in the city, and numerous international companies will work there. It is expected that NEOM will begin to function partially by 2025.

NEOM will become a high-tech region along the Red Sea coast worth USD 500 bn, with an area of over 26 sq. km. The selected territory has access to the coast, water trade routes and is located in the most comfortable climatic zone of the country.

To develop the region with the help of world-class specialists, 16 key economy sectors and the basic principles have been developed.

16 sectors of the NEOM economy:

  • future of energy;
  • future of water supply and resource conservation;
  • future of transport mobility;
  • future of biotechnology;
  • future of information technology;
  • future of tourism;
  • future of sports;
  • future of housing construction;
  • future of food security;
  • future of production;
  • future of media technology;
  • future of recreation, culture and fashion;
  • future of support services;
  • future of health and well-being;
  • future of education;
  • future of residents' comfort.
Aleksey Korzun
CEO, Moscow City Industrial Development Agency (State Budgetary Orgnization)
"As one of the NEOM concept developers, I would like to note that the main project goal is not just to build a high-tech and environmentally friendly city, but to create a fundamentally new innovative ecosystem. NEOM should become a point of attraction for scientists and talented people from around the world and provide the life and work conditions that were previously impossible.

The project revolutionary character is not limited to the buildings futuristic design and hi-tech features like a flying taxi. The latest scientific advances, including artificial intelligence, will be used to create the NEOM healthcare, education, transportation and security systems. It is also planned that NEOM will become a significant tourist center due to the creation of a comfortable urban environment and the construction of sports facilities suitable for holding world-class competitions."
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