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By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, according to UN-Habitat, posing a number of sustainability challenges including increased traffic congestion and climate impact. Cities represent over 70% of GHG emissions and 60%- 80% of global energy consumption. At the same time, cities create wealth, generate employment and drive human progress. ICT will be one key technology to address SDG 11: to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Partnership with UN-Habitat

The largest UN conference in history, the Habitat III conference in 2016, set a roadmap for sustainable urbanization over the next 20 years with the New Urban Agenda. As a result of joint advocacy work by Ericsson, the ITU, and UN-Habitat, ICT was considered a basic infrastructure and enabler for sustainable urbanization. ICT will be one key technology to address SDG 11: to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. At Habitat III, we launched jointly with UN-Habitat, a report on ICT and sustainable urbanization . The report underscored ICT as a vital infrastructure for cities, providing solutions within energy, transport, water and other areas to support smart, sustainable cities.

As part of our partnership with UN-Habitat, we have also conducted a number of applied research projects. For example, we have explored the use of digital technologies to improve safe and secure water supply in informal settlements and the value of ICT tools to enhance citizen participation.

For 2017 we will continue to focus on smart sustainable cities, looking at challenges such as urban planning, air pollution and climate change.

Smart Energy City: Stockholm

The Stockholm Royal Seaport is transforming a previous industrial area into a sustainable urban district, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030; Ericsson has been a partner in the Stockholm Royal Seaport for more than five years. In 2016 the SmartEnergyCity.se was inaugurated a smart home and smart grid research and demonstration program in the Stockholm Royal Seaport area.

Tackling urbanization impacts with ICT

In the Digital Demo Stockholm initiative, we are working with the city of Stockholm to understand how to utilize ICT to address resource use and the impacts of urbanization. Traffic management, social inclusion and water quality monitoring networks are some of the areas we are exploring within the initiative. The purpose of the water project is to develop an end-to-end solution for water monitoring with small sensors connected through a cellular network to the cloud. Several parameters for the property of the water will be examined and sensors will be deployed at locations important for the city and the local water utility. Network connection through narrow broadband-IoT will be preferred, using the Ericsson cloud platform and big data management.

Smart City solution in India

Bhopal, a city of 1.4 million people in the state of Madhya Pradesh, is one of 20 smart cities selected by the Indian government to implement smart city solutions. Ericsson will deploy pan-city ICT solutions including its Zero Site technology with the aim of increased energy efficiency, greater public safety, environmental awareness, improved mobile broadband coverage and electric vehicle charging. Ericsson will also deploy a state-of-the-art command and control center from which civic agencies can monitor and control the complete deployment.

Smart Africa Alliance developing Smart City Blueprint

In 2016, we became partner to the SMART Africa Alliance. Our collaboration is aimedat developing a smart city blueprint for Africa. This builds on the work with theRwandan government on using ICT to transform other sectors such as the financial sector, transport, utilities and the public safety and security sectors. Kigali, Rwanda is being developed to become a world-class reference model project of a smart city for the Smart Africa Alliance. SMART Africa is aimed at accelerating sustainable socioeconomic development in Africa and to usher in the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and usage of ICT. With an enabling policy framework and public-private partnership, ICT can enable cities characterized by resiliency, collaboration, participation and mobility.