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How Smart Cities Depend on Entrepreneurship and the Arts

Photo: Courtesy of Mourad Saadi

If you do a quick bit of research on smart cities around the world, you will find an overwhelming number of innovations that open the doors for entrepreneurial careers. Places like Vienna, Austria are at the forefront of smart building design, traffic management and green energy. Meanwhile, Seoul, South Korea is renowned for its world-class healthcare facilities for the disabled and elderly where they provide patients with tablets and smartphones to ensure responsive medical attention. Here in the U.S., Boston is consistently ranked as a top-five smart city for its educational institutions, governance, public management and internet speeds. 

As more and more regions realize that building smarter cities is integral to efficiency, cost management and citizen happiness, enterprising professionals have every opportunity to build careers and create solutions within an endless range of emerging markets. 

Smarter cities and technologies

Smarter cities lead to better technology, and better technology leads to smarter cities. For instance, Jerry Hultin communicates about just a few of the companies Global Futures Group partners with to bring innovation to towns and municipalities.

Hultin explains, “We have a company we work with that puts sensors into manholes and sewers so they don’t explode or have stray electricity.” He adds that while a company like this may never become a huge conglomerate like Microsoft because manhole covers are only a “piece” of infrastructure, it is still providing a highly valuable service. 

Hultin also cites working with a company that “takes a whole campus and allows everyone to be on the same platform, learn how to buy lunch, find a parking space, etc.” He believes a company such as this one could become “another Microsoft.”

As the needs for new technologies, breakthroughs, grids, communication systems and the like arise, tech companies will see a huge boom in demands. Likewise, as companies discover, invent and release revolutionary products and services, cities will benefit and become smarter than we can even imagine. 

Need for STEAM

Hultin also communicates the importance of education in building efficient, intelligent cities. He believes the answer lies in “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), rather than simply STEM. Obviously, education in areas such as engineering and computer science will be incredibly important in this new age, but just as paramount will be young people taking an interest in sociology and liberal arts. 

Smart cities aren’t just a tech issue. They also rely on knowledgeable professionals looking out for the welfare of various demographics as well as the population at large. In order to build cities that truly operate in the most seamless, productive, people-friendly and financially efficient manners, we will need individuals who are educated in every field. This education should start as early as possible and continue through university if we are to thrive and keep up with the rest of the world. 

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