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Smart cities: Lack of digitization makes cities unattractive

Smart City

According to a Bitkom survey, one in four people (26 per cent) aged 16 to 29 say that an inability of their city to keep pace with digitization is a reason to move away.

22 per cent of 30 to 64 year-olds are of the same opinion. Only older people aged 65 and over say that digitization has practically no impact on where they want to live (4 per cent).

At the same time, a significant majority (58 per cent) say that digitization has left their city or municipality behind. Only about one-third (36 per cent) say that their everyday lives have benefited from digitization in their town or municipality. “Digital infrastructure and digital access to public services are not an added extra, but something that more and more citizens actively demand. The coronavirus pandemic has led to our digital lives and work environment becoming more complex. Accordingly, the demands being placed on cities are growing”, said Achim Berg, president of Bitkom. “To keep young people from moving away one has to invest in digitization for a better quality of life. It also makes a place more attractive for business.”

One in five opposed to more digital technology

If digitization projects fail, it is unlikely to be for a lack of popular support. Only one in five (20 per cent) are against their city or municipality implementing more digital technology. The age group over 65 is where most resistance can be found, although at 27 per cent even they are in a minority where scepticism towards digitization is concerned.

75 per cent, a significant majority, have already heard or read about smart cities as a general concept for implementing digital technology. However, only 18 per cent say they can explain what it means, from local government services on online portals to Wi-Fi and intelligent traffic control systems, for example. One-third (35 per cent) know what smart cities are. One in five (21 per cent) have heard or read about them but are not exactly sure what they signify.

The Bitkom press release with information on the methodology can be found here.

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