Redefining urban life - Ericsson Business Review


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Adding mobility, broadband and the cloud to connectivity makes ideas affordable and accessible for anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The Networked Society will fuel a creative explosion, and that explosion will start in the cities.

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Redefining urban life - Ericsson Business Review

  1. 1. 20 • EBR #2 2011
  2. 2. Putting people together «« Creative Cities «« THEMEAdding mobility, broadband and the cloud to connectivity makesideas affordable and accessible for anyone, anywhere, anytime.The Networked Society will fuel a creative explosion, andthat explosion will start in the cities.Redefining urban life ILLUSTRATIONS Alexander Jansson Cities have become the engine for humanity and are, now more than ever, shaping our lives as human beings. Cities will drive development in all industries, and ICT will play a key role in the ability of cities to grow economically, socially and sustainably. HERE ARE NOW more people living in cities . Today, at least  of the world’s cities are T than in rural areas. A steady stream of peo- ple is moving from the countryside to the cities; globally, almost , people move from already classified as megacities, including Mexi- co City, Mumbai and Tokyo. By the next decade, at least eight more cities will become megacities, rural to urban areas every day. The urban popu- and in the future, half of the world’s megacities lation increases by more than  million people will be located in developing countries. every month, equal to the size of the population So what impact does this migration have on of Miami. It is foreseen that  percent of the society? On the positive side are an increasing world’s population will live in cities by the year number of technological innovations and Theme in short ▶ Cities will have a significant impact on a growing share of the world’s population. ▶ Examples of how ICT can promote a city’s growth, from an economic, environmental and social perspective. ▶ Connectivity plays a central role in the new creativity. CONCLUSION ▶ As the number of megacities rises, decision-makers must ensure that this urban growth is sustainable. ▶ People’s concerns about their security and integrity, and their need for simplicity, need to be taken seriously. We can learn from the successes of top-performing cities. ▶ Network architecture will have to be reconsidered. ▶ EBR #2 2011 • 21
  3. 3. THEME »» Creative Cities »» Putting people together▶ These trends all point toward cities being the focal point for the future, from which creativity, innovation and new ideas will emerge. Want to find various forms of creativity, women’s empow- understanding of it. This generation will find it erment, higher standards of living, enhanced easier to adapt to and make use of the immense out more? democratic accountability and economic pro- opportunities generated by ict, especially in cit- Go to Ericsson’s gress. It is clear that economic growth and ur- ies. dedicated banism are strongly linked even if one can debate These trends all point toward cities being the Networked whether it is urbanization that drives economic focal point for the future, from which creativity, Society blog: growth in cities or vice versa; people living in cit- innovation and new ideas will emerge. Cities are ies have a higher per-capita income than people increasingly taking the place of nation states in living in rural areas. However, the urbanization the sense that they, more than countries, are now explosion will also cause problems such as in- shaping the future. When young people today are creased pollution and growing slum areas with asked where they want to live in the future, they high degrees of poverty. don’t answer with a country – they answer with But one can also argue as Peter Hall does in a city. The Age of the City: “Ever since cities became large enough and com- CONNECTIVITY LEADS TO CREATIVITY thinkingahead/ plex enough to present problems of urban man- Humans are creative by nature. When we meet, the-networked-society-blog/ agement, they also became urban laboratories, interact and connect with each other, we share places that developed the solutions – technologi- experiences, knowledge and influences. This is cal, organizational, legal or social – to their own where creativity originates, leading to new ideas problems of growth. ” and new solutions. The bottom line is that our expanding new cit- What we are seeing in cities and society as a ies and their aging populations will present both whole today is that a new kind of creativity is tak- tremendous challenges and tremendous oppor- ing shape. There is a distinction between the tra- tunities for society. ditional vision of creativity as the result of indi- Due to the ongoing urbanization trend, the vidual genius, and the modern vision of creativ- power of the city is increasing. In the coming dec- ity as a social process. ade, cities – not nation states – will dominate the This new creativity has its origins in the com- world. According to the McKinsey Global Insti- munity, in which everyone takes part in the cre- tute, the world’s  largest cities account for ative process. Together, a mosaic of small ideas more than  percent of global gdp but only  will form something big. We have already seen percent of the global population. examples of this trend, with Wikipedia perhaps However, it is the medium-sized cities, with being one of the more prominent. Wikipedia al- populations ranging from , to  million, ready comprises more than  million articles, that are predicted to contribute the largest growth and is continuously expanding as more people in terms of gdp until . This highlights the contribute to it. And, as we look to the future, we fact that not only megacities but also larger cit- see the potential for a continuous torrent of ide- ies that do not qualify as megacities will drive de- as and creativity. velopment and help to shape society. Cities have always been places where creativi- Urbanization is not the only trend that is hav- ty has flourished, thanks to the many meetings ing an impact on cities. Growing and aging pop- that inevitably happen in dense urban areas. In ulations, globalization, the rise of Asia and glob- the new era of the Networked Society, connec- al warming are also impacting the way societies tivity will enable creativity, innovation and, ulti- evolve. More importantly, the past  years have mately, socioeconomic development. ushered in a digital age with massive computing When we connect people together, creativity power, high-speed data access, mobile commu- and innovation occur. nication and, more recently, the cloud. A new When we connect things, we build an infra- generation of digital natives is emerging. structure in which new ideas and innovation can A digital native is a young person who was born develop. during or after the general introduction of digi- Once we add mobility, broadband and the tal technology, and through interacting with dig- cloud, we achieve a creative explosion as it be- ital technology from an early age has a greater comes affordable and accessible for anyone, any-22 • EBR #2 2011
  4. 4. Putting people together «« Creative Cities «« THEMEwhere, anytime to generate ideas. This is the Net- communication network needs to evolve. Whichworked Society. And it will have its starting point creative places need connectivity? How are peo-in the cities. ple and businesses interacting, and what new de- “Cities have long been the vehicles for mobiliz- mands are emerging?ing, concentrating, and channeling human crea- In the Networked Society, the tools that stim-tive energy. They turn that energy into technical ulate networking and creativity among individu-and artistic innovations, new forms of commerce als will also drive changes. Every day, new prod-and new industries, and evolving paradigms of ucts and services appear. Disruptive businesscommunity and civilization. (Richard Florida) ” models are becoming the norm, and to a great extent, ict solutions are driving this develop-INNOVATION SPURS GROWTH IN THE CITIES ment. Connectivity enables corporate creativityIt is a well-known fact that innovations contrib- to flourish.ute to economic growth. Creative and talented City governments increasingly turn to ict topeople are drawn to places that are inclusive and solve many of the challenges posed by their grow-diverse. These places also offer high-quality ex- ing populations, and the creative solutions varyperiences and the opportunity for creative peo- from smart grids to traffic management and e-ple to confirm their identities. health. It is the diverse social climate of the city that Because cities are driving the development ofpowers innovation and economic growth there. society, it is clear that connectivity is becomingGreat cities are places where people from any a strategic urban asset that will ultimately rede-background are welcome to turn energy and ide- fine urban life. ●as into innovations and wealth. Diversity is a keycharacteristic that fuels innovation. When peo-ple move into a city, they contribute new energy Referencesand innovative ideas. By continuously being re- • The State of the World Cities, UN-HABITATnewed, cities will spur entrepreneurship and cre- • World’s Top Global Mega Trends to  and Implications to Business, Society and Cultures, Frost & Sullivanativity. • The Age of the City: The challenge for creative cities, Peter Hall The new urban trend is dependent on the in- • When Cities Rule the World - What Matters?, Paragh Khanna, McKinseycreasing number of people moving into cities, but • Urban World: Mapping the economic power of cities, McKinsey Global Insti-also the power of the city itself, its inhabitants, tuteand the spreading of urban culture and the val- • From ‘Creative Cities’ to ‘Urban Creativity’? Space, creativity and governance inues it has created. In the st century, creativity the contemporary city, Costa et alis a strong source of value creation, according to • The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida • The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobsseveral researchers, which explains the currentfocus on stimulating creative activities within cit-ies. AUTHOR ▶ PATRIK CERWALL is Director ofNEW DEMANDS ON NETWORKS Strategic Marketing, Marketing &Connected creativity will be fundamental to Communications at Business Unitbuilding the solutions of the st-century city. Networks, Ericsson. He joined Eric-People are becoming increasingly mobile, and do sson in 1995 and has held variousnot settle for hot-spot coverage. They want / positions within system design and product managementaccess to the internet, wherever they are. for EDGE, GPRS and GSM, and holds several patents in the As a result, individuals, businesses and socie- field of mobile communication systems. Since 2006, Cer-ty as a whole will demand much more of networks wall has been working with sales strategies and strategicin terms of capacity, performance and quality. If marketing within BU Networks. He holds an MSc from KTHconnectivity is a strategic urban asset, then a lack Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.of well-built communication networks in cities ( a barrier for growth. Therefore, under-standing how creativity and collaboration workin a city leads to understanding how the urban ▶ EBR #2 2011 • 23