Are We About To Witness A Digital Service Revolution?

The launch of the book ”Connected Cities: Your 256 Billion Euro Dividend” this week in London by Living Labs Global in collaborationwith Design London, heralds how introducing new digital services in cities promises the change the way citzens live in cities around the world.Only few years ago, digital services were about bandwidth, wireless protocols, and emerging standards for mobile television. To the keen observer, however, there has recently been a significant shift from antennas to services that might completely change the way we as citizens live, work and interact with technology around us. At The Well Connected City symposium at Imperial College, cities, companies and universities came together to share experience and create partnerships for how cities can become increasingly ”smart” with the help of new digital service layers. From the integrated digital services in the transportation system of Paris, to the integration og mobile and online public services of the City of Westminster, the way citizens interact with the city in which they live is changing rapidly. Around the world, groundbreaking services are already being piloted to allow the visually impared to move seemlessly around cities, to solve congenstion problems once and for all through intelligent and personalised car pooling, and implement sensor-networks in cities to create a smart city that only cleans the streets, turn on the street lights, and empties the harbage bins when there is a need. The economic potential is staggering, and the societal upsides clear. However, the consensus is that although the technology is already there, political leadership is needed to introduce this technology to society on a massive scale.