Urbanization is continuing to progress at a rapid pace. By 2030, the United Nations estimates that megacities (metropolises with at least 10 million residents) will be home to more than 750 million people, a 35% increase from today. Meanwhile, cities with over 1 million inhabitants are projected to have an aggregate population of 2.3 billion people, with much of that population concentrated in developing countries.
Growing populations, aging and inefficient transport systems, and rising car ownership in these cities are increasing congestion and reducing productivity. According to the World Economic Forum, the number of cars worldwide is set to soar in the decades ahead, climbing from 1.1 billion in 2019 to 2.0 billion by 2040. Inadequate transport systems are also a significant driver of poor health (from emissions and road accidents) and exacerbate social inequality in cities by restricting access to education, jobs, and health care.
Digital cities (also known as smart cities) emerged as a response to these growing trends as an attempt to address these challenges with better data and technology. Today, as technologies like edge computing, 5G, data management, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and agile application architectures converge, this convergence creates an unprecedented possibility for cities to develop powerful new capabilities towards delivering citizen outcomes more efficiently and effectively.
Urban mobility solutions are a key area of focus as cities develop their transformation strategies.
Some of the key urban mobility challenges faced by cities can be categorized as follows:
Transportation and citizen safety
City management process and technologies