Smart Cities

How urbanization shapes the planet

Each week, cities are growing by 1.5 million inhabitants. By 2050, more than two thirds of the global population will be city dwellers, up from just one third in 1950. As cities grow, the way we build and manage urban infrastructure has never been more critical to global economic and social development.


Fira de Barcelona, Booth C379, 13-15 November, 2018

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Making cities fit for the future

Smart solutions on a balanced budget

With growing urbanization, often critical financial conditions and the challenges of climate change, cities carry a crucial part of development as a whole. What then does intelligent infrastructure mean for buildings, mobility solutions and energy management?  

Key trend: urbanization

The challenges of constant growth

Infrastructure has a profound effect on quality of life, but one that we only really appreciate when things do not work as well as they should. Anybody who has experienced power blackouts or stuck in traffic jams knows that things could, and should, be better.


Urbanization complicates matters further. Each week, cities are growing by 1.5 million inhabitants, and by 2050 more than two thirds of the global population will be city dwellers, up from just one third in 1950. As cities grow, the way we build and manage urban infrastructure has never been more critical to global economic and social development.

Dundas Square, Toronto

With more than half of the global population living in cities, there is no doubt that we live in an urbanized world and the global challenges of the 21st century are in urban areas.

Joan Clos, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (source: Interview with Joan Clos by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service on the "Rio+20" conference, June 2012)


Where technology makes a difference

What are the key areas in which our urban infrastructure can benefit most from advanced digital technologies?

Digitalization drives infrastructure of tomorrow

Secure energy supplies, flexible mobility, energy efficient building control: the requirements for a modern and sustainable infrastructure are growing. Digitalization enables the implementation of innovative solutions that make urban areas better places to live.

Challenges for Intelligent Infrastructure

Challenges for Intelligent Infrastructure

  • 5 bn

    Number of people living in cities in 20301

  • 194,000 TWh

    Global energy demand 2030: 194,000 TWh, + 25% compared to 20122

  • 2.5 bn

    Number of vehicles in 2050: 2.5 bn + 100% compared to 20153

  • USD 239 billion

    Expected costs resulting from traffic jams in Europe and USA in 20304

  • 40%

    Advanced building automation and control systems can save up to 40% of energy5

  • 15%

    Of global NOx emissions are stem from shipping6

  • ~ 5% p.a.

    Rate of Data Center energy consumption increase to 2026 7


2. WEO Report 2014
4. INRIX [] Pressemeldung:
5. Siemens
6. Smith, T.W.P. et al. (2014b) Third IMO GHG Study 2014. London: International Maritime Organisation
7. DCD Global Market Overview and Forecast, 2015

Efficient building management

Better control of building environments not only improves the working or living environment but also reduces the energy consumption of a building. Effective solutions can ensure reliable and efficient operation of buildings.

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Reliable, safe and efficient energy

The supply of reliable and affordable energy is an essential condition for economic growth and good quality of life. The grids of the future have to be agile in order to manage our changing energy systems.

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Smart mobility

Mobility goes digital. Getting quickly and efficiently from A to B is a given these days. But passengers expect more – and municipalities, transport operators and industry have to meet these needs. Intelligent mobility solutions increase the availability of infrastructure, optimize throughput and create a new quality of passenger experience.

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Digital Cities

Digitalization is changing our world

Today the number of connected devices has surpassed the number of humans on the planet. These intelligent devices generate massive amounts of data transforming life and business across all sectors. However, much infrastructure has yet to be transformed by the information age. Instead, in most places, trains, power systems, buildings, buses, and roads have hardly changed in nature. Some digital systems have been incorporated but we have only just begun to unlock the potential of fully digitized, electrified, information-enabled, intelligent infrastructure. Doing so will be key to meeting the world’s present and future sustainable development challenges. 

Interactive infographic

Powering the future of urban mobility

This interactive feature is based on a quantitative model which estimates the infrastructure requirements and potential impacts of electrification of passenger transport in cities over the next 30 years.


Air Quality

City Air Management

In many parts of the world, air pollution has reached dangerous levels. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 90 percent of the world’s urban population breathe air with pollutant levels that far exceed the recommended thresholds. City leaders are under pressure to meet these challenges and define strategies for sustainable, clean and smart growth.


The deployment of sensors and digital analytics provide unique opportunities to harness data to make better decisions and take action. New digital technologies will contribute to tangible improvements in local quality of life by enabling citizens to improve their health and make more informed decisions about how they travel, and by giving city leaders a better understanding of the causes and severity of local air pollution. City Air Management technology identifies actions to avert poor air quality in the short-term, simulates the impact of these measures and creates enough certainty around these impacts to foster proactive decision-making.


Complementary, the City Performance Tool assesses the impact of medium- and long-term measures on a city’s overall emissions.

Smart City Reports

How digitalized infrastructure pays off

What is the return on investment for digitalized infrastructure? Siemens worked with five cities to understand their own vision and ambitions for their city, and considering their top three infrastructure priorities, uncovered the overall long term value to each city from digitally enabled intelligent infrastructure investments. The study sets out the benefits of six infrastructure sectors: Energy, Transport, Buildings, Harbours, Security and Connectivity.  Using over 350 data inputs, it calculates their multiple benefits to the city and their return on investment.




Modeling transport, buildings and energy solutions, the London study considers the upcoming development at London’s Arc of Opportunity in the east of the city – a new model for city growth.
Click here for the study



Brussels chose energy, buildings and security as the priority investments for the city in the coming years with enhanced security systems delivering some of the best benefits across the entire research.

Click here for the study




A city seeking to diversify its economy around the future of energy demonstrates how harbours play such an important role in that economic diversity and how this economic generator can play its part in the energy economy and transport systems development.

Click here for the study



A bustling hub in the vast and growing Istanbul, Kartal is undergoing huge redevelopment and new construction. This study looked at the benefits to the city from digitally enabled buildings, transport solutions and energy management.

Click here for the study


Alba Iulia

A small city in Romania demonstrates how connectivity can support transport and energy investments as well as support a thriving and growing tourist industry. Physical and digital connections to the wider region shows the importance of region wide collaboration.

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Intelligent Infrastructure in action

Sitraffic STREAM
Shanghai Tower
Berlin CityCube
Zhuhai Traffic Management
Radio Bremen
ÖBB railjet