DCN April 2017 - Page 36

smart cities CITY SLICKERS Jocelyn Paulley, director at Gowling WLG, discusses the role of data centres as smart city enablers. T he global interest in smart cities should capture the attention of any data centre operator. Connected devices are no use without the compute power to bring all of their data together and extract the information which can transform the efficiency of cities. Without a data centre, smart cities will be dumb. 36 | April 2017 Why the smart city drive? Whilst the term ‘smart city’ can sound futuristic, the drivers are not. They address current issues such as environmental concerns to reduce carbon consumption and other waste, and aim to achieve cost savings across five key verticals – transport, energy, waste, water and assisted living. Given that urbanisation is increasing and by 2030 over 92 per cent of the UK’s population will live in a city (according to the World Resources Institute), these pressures are only going to increase. The global market for smart city solutions and the services required to deliver them are therefore unsurprisingly predicted to cost around £408bn by 2020. Funds