Are we moving into Coruscant, MegaCity One or Dome City?

by Henry Keane – allmapdata solutions consultant


The digital future of the urban landscape and why it matters to your business

“The cities of the future – and the cities of the present that will be relevant in the future – will be smart. Full of sensors, data, and analysis that help the traffic flow, civic leaders lead, and citizens fully realize all the benefits of working and living in their city.”

Ben Pring, Managing Director, Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work

What smart really means for our urban future


From Star Wars to Judge Dredd to Logan’s Run, generations have enjoyed fantasising about the future of cities and how urban life and work will be revolutionised by incredible technology. Ideas that seemed fanciful in sci-fi are now mainstream. While we’re not yet subject to forced iris scanning from drone “spiders”, the responsive video screen ads and bot-based tracking that made such an impact in Minority Report (2002) are now more or less commonplace technologies.

What does the urban future really look like? More specifically, what’s around the corner as cities across the world continue to expand and evolve? Thinktank ESI’s recent report Smarter Cities 2025 provides a fascinating, evidence-based insight into the urban changes we’ll experience in the next few years.


Digital and transport infrastructure are crucial… and connected

ESI focuses on what smart cities will need to do to be economically successful and popular places to live and work. The research team gets into the nitty gritty of smart city investments and predicts which approaches will have the biggest impact.

One of the ten pillars identified in the report is infrastructure. That means digital connectivity, including broadband, shared architecture and systems as well as processes, standards and security.

The other key aspect of infrastructure is transport. The development of road and transit networks and routes will also rely on technology, from location positioning sensors and digital mapping applications. The forecast 40% demand increase in online retail means there will be more deliveries than ever. But with congestion and pollution legislation and charging and an increasing bias towards greener modes of personal and business transport, the currently ubiquitous diesel-powered courier van is likely to become a rarity.

Identifying the winning technologies and innovation

So what will urban logistics look like in six years’ time? Will we be using drones or hydrogen trucks? Will communal drop-off points replace door to door deliveries? How will logistics providers react to meet both consumer and b2b demands for one-hour delivery slots and same day fulfilment? What kind of technology and data will power the most successful delivery networks and fleets?

Whether you have a clear vision or a collection of ideas, if you’re a stakeholder in the future of urban logistics you can add your voice to the debate and find out what other thought leaders in the field are saying… Join me at The Goldsmith’s Centre, London on 23rd May to be part of an exciting round table discussion for invited experts. It could definitively shape your near-future urban logistics strategy. Request a place now.