Britain leads in future cities market: report
LONDON, July 18 (Xinhua) — Britain’s rich ecosystem for urban innovation positions the country to take advantage of the 340 billion U.S. dollars global future cities market, said a report published on Friday in London.
The report, “How can the UK innovate for the world’s cities?” was issued by the Future Cities Catapult, a government-backed technology and innovation center.
Around 32,000 enterprises were working in Britain tackling the challenges posed by the huge scale of urbanization worldwide. There were more than 400,000 architects, civil engineers and urban designers with the expertise to provide solutions for the world’s cities, the report found.
The global market for integrated urban solutions was estimated to reach 340 billion dollars by 2030, according to the report.
It was estimated that at least 40 trillion dollars would need to be invested in urban infrastructure worldwide over the next 20 years, it added.
“Britain already has an incredible number of individuals and organizations working to improve the future of our cities,” said Peter Madden, chief executive of the Future Cities Catapult.
“Building on this rich ecosystem — of architects, engineers, data scientists, designers, ethnographers, planners, urbanists and many more — provides an incredible opportunity for Britain to create more jobs, more revenue and to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems,” he added.
British companies active in urban innovation include CityMapper, a smartphone app that provides journey planning information used by millions of urban dwellers in London, New York, Paris and Berlin.
Another example was SpaceHive, an online funding platform for civic projects, according to the report. Since launching in 2012, SpaceHive had been replicated by communities, businesses and city governments around the world to fund local public developments.
“Whether installing new drinking water infrastructure in Kinshasa, addressing air pollution in Beijing or developing digital health applications in Glasgow, the companies, researchers and institutions able to solve complex city problems will enjoy a sizeable and growing market for their skills, products and services,” the report said.