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Smart city development has progressed over the past few years, with most of the conversation surrounding smart city planning has so far focused on the technology, the regulatory framework needed to implement it and the financing. But what about the benefit on the personal level?

A recent study by Intel and Juniper Research shows the measurable benefits citizens would see in their daily lives thanks to investments in smart city technologies.

The report expects 2018 to be a breakthrough year for smart cities for a couple reasons. First, as resources are strained and social media enables political mobilization, citizens will demand improvements. On top of that, the technology has finally matured enough — with better connectivity and cheaper computing — to make smart city implementations worthwhile.

As it stands, the study found that the most advanced cities are Singapore, London, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, reports zdnet.com.

The study looks at 20 cities around the world across four key innovation areas: Mobility, health care, public safety, and productivity. It measures the benefits of these technologies in terms of the time it can save citizens. All told, the study found that implementations across these four areas led to 125 extra hours per citizen, per year.

  • Mobility-related technology such as integrated IoT-enabled infrastructure can save up to 60 hours a year for residents.
  • Connected digital health services can save citizens almost 10 hours a year.
  • Productivity tools like city apps and digital services can save citizens as much as 21 hours by simplifying a city’s administrative tasks.
  • Public safety implementations can offer nearly 35 hours saved per year with technologies that, for instance, help law enforcement and first responders.

Intel points to the ways it’s helping cities build “smart” infrastructure: In Portland and San Diego, for instance, city leaders have deployed Current CityIQ sensors (delivered by Intel, GE, and AT&T), which turn streetlights into digital infrastructure beacons. Meanwhile, Intel built its Health Application Platform to facilitate remote patient care.

City leaders are advised “to fast-track [smart city technology] but do it in a thoughtful, methodical way.”