CompTIA Survey Looks at People's View About Building Smart Cities

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CompTIA Survey Looks at People's View About Building Smart Cities

Making cities smarter is becoming important in municipalities large and small. Smart city advocates and high-tech companies want to use the internet of things and wireless networking to make urban infrastructure more efficient and to improve public safety. But a new study from computer industry trade association CompTIA suggests there are some who work in government, as well as private citizens, who aren’t so sure that smart city technology will deliver all its promised benefits. While things such as citywide WiFi and more energy efficient streetlights are appealing, some people are worried about the expense and potential risks of creating smart cities. This slide show will dig in to the CompTIA study, which includes responses from 1,000 private citizens and 350 government IT professionals, to examine what the future of smart cities might look like.

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Setting Priority for Smart Cities Technology

CompTIA asked city government employees what their top technology priorities are going forward. According to the research, 61 percent want to modernize existing IT systems and applications. However, 55 percent said security is a major concern, matching those who said their top priority is “applying technology in new ways to solve problems.”

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Most Cities Have Done Some Planning

Just 28 percent of cities say that they have a “comprehensive framework or roadmap” for deploying smart city systems and 47 percent of cities have at least a “partial framework.” But a quarter still have no plans in place.

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What’s a Smart City, Anyway?

In its survey of citizens, CompTIA gauged their familiarity with the concept of smart cities. Just 26 percent claimed to know what smart city technologies were, matching the number of people who said they had heard the term “but that’s about it.” A whopping 48 percent of people don’t know what smart cities are.

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Most Have a Positive View of Smart Cities

Despite the general lack of smart city knowledge, 60 percent of respondents from large cities and 48 percent in small municipalities have “generally positive” views toward smart cities. About 4 in 10 respondents from both large and small municipalities are neutral, while 3 percent in big cities and 12 percent in smaller cities have “generally negative” views on the technology.

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What Do Citizens Want In Smart Cities?

More than 80 percent of people in big and small cities want public WiFi service and about the same number would like technology such as air quality sensors, smart water management and enhanced disaster monitoring. While 71 percent of people in big cities want autonomous public transportation vehicles, just 34 percent in smaller towns feel the same way.

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Are Smart City Election Ballots a Good Idea?

CompTIA asked citizens how they feel about smart city ballots to improve election quality. More than 6 in 10 respondents think it’s a good idea and 30 percent are neutral about the concept. Just 9 percent of people believe smart city ballot initiatives would help their municipalities.

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Can Governments Do the Job?

Do citizens believe their local governments can make smart city concepts reality? According to CompTIA, just 16 percent are “very confident” their local governments can successfully deploy smart city technologies, matching those who are not at all confident. However, 30 percent of respondents are reasonably confident in local government ability and 38 percent are neutral.

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Security Concerns Abound

Smart city cyber-security is a significant concern for government respondents. Nearly 7 in 10 government respondents fear a hack of critical infrastructure and 58 percent of respondents are concerned about theft and exploitation of private citizen data. Security is such a concern that 51 percent of respondents said a major breach could cause a “loss of confidence in smart cities.” Worse yet, 65 percent of cities are either not equipped or “partially well-equipped” to handle security breaches.

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What Will People Trade For Smarter Cities?

CompTIA asked citizens what they’d be willing to trade for smart city technology. The largest number of citizens—39 percent—said they would trade city staff raises. The fewest number—27 percent—said smart city investments should be at the expense of new police or fire vehicles. Citizens were mixed on whether budgets should shift from high school fields and lights.

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What's the Status of Smart City Deployments?

According to CompTIA, 13 percent of cities now have “fully operational smart city initiatives in place” while 31 percent have some pilot projects underway. A quarter of cities have no immediate plans for smart city initiatives.

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