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in 2050, the number of people living in cities will be almost as large as the world's entire population today. The urban population will have increased by three billion - with growth coming primarily in the urban centres of the developing and emerging countries. In Asia, cities are currently adding 100,000 new residents a day. As a result, lack of space, environmental pollution, power shortages, traffic congestion and poor infrastructure services are the order of the day in many areas.Cities also pose the largest threat to the world's climate, accounting for about 70 per cent of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions. As the energy demand grows and as supplies of natural resources diminish, converting the world's burgeoning mega-metropolises into smart sustainable cities will require the courage to innovate as well as companies that are able to develop intelligent technologies. Awareness of this fact is rapidly growing - not only in industrial countries like Germany, which has been a trailblazer in environmental protection for decades, but also in regions like Asia and Latin America. To find out which cities are leaders in environmental awareness, Siemens commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), an independent research institute, to survey environmental conditions in urban areas around the world. One model is Singapore - a densely populated city-state that has successfully harmonised sustainability with the conditions of modern urban life. The island nation invests systematically in education and is now a global leader in water technologies. One of the most attractive business locations in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore is living proof that sustainability and economic success are not mutually exclusive.Expanding conurbations were long considered a negative development to be curbed or impeded wherever possible. Today, however, we have reached a turning point - and one that offers major opportunities. To combat climate change and, at the same time, maintain cities as livable spaces, the urban environment will have to be radically transformed. There are no other options. But to master the challenges, government leaders, urban planners and companies will have to join forces and coordinate their efforts. It is time to act - now.Siemens began focusing on environmental protection many years ago and has long been a leader in ecofriendly technologies. In fiscal 2011, the company generated revenue of nearly ? Left: Peter LöscherAbove: Intelligent buildings producing efficiently their own energy and an environmental friendly traffic system are part of the city of the future" We have an obligation to pass on to the city dwellers of tomorrow an urban environment worth living in. "smart cities 097

098 smart cities