The perfect storm about to hit the world's developing cities

Sun, 2013-06-30 16:27 -- Jesse Berst

If you have any doubt about the need for the developing world to rapidly deploy smart technology, skim through this report. It identifies a "perfect storm" of impending threats. More importantly, it identifies more than 100 ways those cities can respond, many that relate to smart technologies. -- Jesse Berst

A new report assesses the risks to 129 cities in Asia and Africa. It was published in partnership by Atkins, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and University College London (UCL). It cites a "perfect storm" of challenges set to hit that part of the world:

  • Rapid increase in carbon emissions
  • Significant climate change impacts
  • Rapid transmission of infectious diseases
  • Vulnerability to natural disasters because of reliance on food produced far away
  • Urban divide between haves and have nots
  • Sustained high energy prices
  • Social unrest due to commodity shortages and price spikes

The report's goal is to help cities in the developing world understand their risks so they can target the interventions that will have the greatest impact. The authors believe it is the first report to take a holistic look at the cities, rather than focusing on a single risk (such as flooding or carbon emissions).

The report goes beyond the mere listing of problems. It also lists more than 100 policy options for "future proofing" cities. Many of those policy recommendations have a direct tie to smart city concepts. Put another way, smart city technologies are often the most cost effective way to achieve the logistical, social and environmental changes recommended.

Asia and Africa cities at risk








Asia and Africa cities at risk

Visit for more about the report plus a link to download a copy.

Jesse Berst is the Founding Chairman of Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.