2The Challenges of Urban Development in the Context of the Third Industrial Revolution

Smart cities represent a market valued at US$350,000 billion over the next 30 years ($250,000 billion in infrastructure and $100,000 billion in usage), if the technological and economical model remains the same as far as rehabilitating the existing urban fabric and building new cities. In 2017, the valuation in studies on the horizon of 2020 grew to $1.209 billion [MAR 17] and even to $1.5 billion [FRO 15] for a market that was valued at $500 million in 2017. These studies add up sector infrastructure markets, including digital ones.

The current economic model of the city is not durable in the sense that it reproduces the dysfunctions present in modern cities, such as increasing emissions of pollution, waste and urban nuisances. More aggressive scenarios integrating technologies and new tools for controlling pollution emissions and improving energy efficiency estimate the volume of spending at $450 billion.

2.1. The demographic and economic challenges: toward a change in economic model

In 2008, we saw the urban population grow past 50% of the total population, including in emerging and developing countries in Latin America and Asia, with an estimated 70% growth predicted by 2030.

Urban growth is subject to a specific phenomenon of increasing returns which, according to the maths of Geoffrey West and Luis Bettencourt of the Santa Fe Institute, makes every marginal kilometer of existing infrastructure ...

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