Smart cities will expand over the next decade. Smart energy management and global use of integrated information, communications and technology (ITC) have supported the rise of new ultra-modern urban hubs, particularly in Europe and the EE.UU.
But Latin America is not behind.
The city of Medellin in Colombia has been lauded for its sustainability practices. Improvements in walkways and a widespread bike-sharing scheme have led to reduced car use lowering noise pollution. The city has also benefited from the Transmilenio mass transit bus system.
In Lima, Peru, the government has committed to open data so that citizens can access most municipal services online. Also, it has enabled intelligent transport management systems and a plan for energy efficiencies that could cut carbon emissions 19% by 2030. The city has committed to tie infrastructure development to carbon reduction, including “area greening” in residential areas.
The “Mexican Silicon Valley” in Guadalajara, is already a hub of over 100 software companies from startups to Intel and IBM branches, with thousands of local students graduating with technology degrees. The project includes the development of the so called “Ciudad Creativa Digital”, on a 400 hectare grid, wired full of advanced communications, data-gathering sensors, renewable energy systems and transport networks.
Yachay in Ecuador is President Rafael Correa’s city of knowledge, which he describes as the grandest national initiative for a century. His government is investing over $1 billion in the north highlands site to build a new university campus, modelled on South Korean tech cities, equipped with extensive education and research facilities. The new university would develop elite engineering, energy and biotechnology projects.