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Urban Renewal

These 10 global infrastructure and tech companies are among the early leaders in smart-city programs.

"Like Siemens and ABB, most of the beneficiaries of urbanization will be infrastructure and technology outfits that provide or utilize smartphones, sensors and software and services to track the use of a city’s assets and commit resources when and where they’re needed. Cloud technology, which can cut costs while boosting computing capacity, will play a big role. Even social media will participate, as cities multiply the ways a citizen can spot a problem–anything from a water-main break to a traffic snarl–and then alert others to avoid it or do something about it.

Technology researchers at IDC estimate the size of the smart-city information-technology market is now $34 billion annually and will gain 18%-plus a year to $57 billion by 2014. That’s not a huge amount to global giants, but certainly enough to help drive growth. (The companies don’t break out earnings related to these projects.) The market has broadened to include items like broadband connectivity, green belts, renewable energy, green buildings and other intelligent-city systems. “You are talking about smart water, smart transportation, better public safety,” says Jennifer Bélissent, a consultant at Forrester.”

Source: Barron’s “Dawn of the Smart City”