The future is now. How can a Facility Manager benefit from new, connected technologies?

The world is becoming urban. According to the United Nations, the number of people living in cities is expected to increase from 3.4 billion in 2009 to 6.3 billion in 2050. As population booms, infrastructure needs to cater to new levels of people flow, while increasing convenience and safety. City planners need to seize the opportunities of smarter infrastructure to move huge numbers of citizens quickly and safely around the clock. At the same time, energy consumption and environmental impact must be kept to a minimum. The same needs apply to individual buildings.

According to the UN’s 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects produced by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, the gradual shift in residence of the human population from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050, with close to 90% of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa. The most urbanized regions include Northern America (with 82% of its population living in urban areas in 2018), Latin America and the Caribbean (81%), Europe (74%) and Oceania (68%). The level of urbanization in Asia is now approximating 50%. In contrast, Africa remains mostly rural, with 43% of its population living in urban areas.

In an increasingly urbanized world, new technologies and new businesses are changing expectations. There is a tremendous opportunity to serve customers in new ways and meet the demands of urban environments. Digital technologies and connectivity enable access to new types of services and Utilities that are cheaper, more energy-efficient and easier to use than ever before. New technologies that were once only available to a few are becoming widespread across the globe.