Smart city spending to hit $158bn by 2022

London is one of the top spenders on smart city technology

Smart city initiatives will attract huge amounts of investment this year, IDC estimates, with the value spent on such schemes topping $158 billion by 2022.

Visual surveillance, advanced public transit, and smart outdoor lighting will attract the largest proportions of smart city investment this year, the research firm's Worldwide Semi-annual Smart City Spending Guide found, although this will shift, with intelligent traffic management taking over from smart outdoor lighting as the most invested-in technology by 2022.

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"Intelligent transportation and data-driven public safety remain the largest investment areas, but we are also finding significant pockets of spending and growth in back-office and platform-related use cases, which are less often publicised but increasingly happening behind the scenes in cities around the world," Serena Da Rold, programme manager of IDC's customer insights and analysis group, said.

As it stands, spending on smart city tech is led by the Asia Pacific region, although the US has the largest overall spending by country. By city, Singapore, Tokyo, New York City, London, and Shanghai are the top five spenders. The 53 cities tracked by IDC's report are contributing 15% of global smart city spending collectively.

"IDC expects to see strong, continued investment by the private and public sector in urban areas and in smart cities and communities programmes and projects," said IDC's Ruthbea Yesner. "This also means that it is a more competitive market. This spending guide offers solution suppliers the ability to take a data-driven approach to developing products and services, and understanding buyer trends." 

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London mayor Sadiq Khan recently outlined 20 initiatives he hopes will help England's capital become a smart city, such as bringing full fibre broadband to homes, embedded smart sensors in public infrastructure and trialling 5G.

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