Urban development has become less about infrastructure and more about technology. These are the smart cities paving the way.
(CNN)When you hear of urban transformations, you tend to think of high-rise mega-cities like Shanghai, Dubai or Hong Kong. Or if it’s technological advances, San Francisco and Silicon Valley might come to mind.
But, the cities at the forefront of this growing urban revolution are often the unexpected.Take Kalasatama, a city being built from scratch on the outskirts of Helsinki, Finland. Developers say that by its completion in 2030, residents will get an average hour of their day back by living there.
Cities don’t have to be custom-built to be able to unlock this potential. The ancient cliffside city of Matera in southern Italy is working to become one of the first 5G-enabled cities in Europe.It believes 5G can help it become a center of digital tourism, using technology such as Virtual Reality to show off the cultural and artistic heritage of the city that was named European Capital of Culture in 2019.
“There’s been a real focus to rejuvenate this area. And to make it a center first of all of tourism but also to take efforts to make it a place for investment in an industry,” says Jonathan Reichental, an expert on emerging technology trends in urban environments.