The Smart City of the Future

Last autumn, Paris hosted the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21). The conference, held annually since 1994, marked a united effort by the members to halt climate change. The Paris Agreement will reinforce our commitment to limiting global warming to a maximum of 2°C.  COP 22 will take place in Marrakech in 2016.

France has also recently hosted at Versailles in 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Competition, hosting 20 teams from 16 countries and 3 continents. France hosts this event again in 2016.

Again in 2014, the 21st Century Club invited over 100 industrial leaders from France and China to Bordeaux to collaborate on Smart Cities. The host countries of 2014, 2015 and 2016 are significant because France and Morocco, French-speaking countries, are particularly committed to creating a carbon-neutral economy, leading the way worldwide, in particular in Europe and North Africa.

France, since 2012 has produced over 90% of all electricity from zero-carbon sources hydroelectricity and wind power, and Morocco pledges to do the same by 2030.  Carbon-neutral and green energy are priority in France. Leading the charge are Engineering Schools such as HEI (Hautes Etudes D’Ingénieur). HEI focuses on innovation and specialization based on a core of research and development. HEI graduates have relevant, marketable skills that set them on the path to career success in both traditional and emerging industries.

Read more about studying in HEI.

Smart Cities

HEI offers programs at the cutting edge of developing industrial sectors, like Smart Cities and Sustainable Urban Development. A Master’s of Science and Engineering Smart Cities from HEI gives students the necessary skills and experience for careers today and in the future. But what are Smart Cities, and what sorts of professionals will build them?

Smart Cities are interesting to define because they are by nature, unique to the needs and personalities of individual urban spaces. All Smart Cities have a foundation in their citizens, the city’s processes, infrastructures and technology. Many cities around the world are adopting Smart-City initiatives. Urbanization has become so prevalent that it has elevated many cities, like Brussels, Seoul, Bogota, and many more, to be even more important than the countries themselves accounting for over 40 percent of the National GDP. Frost & Sullivan identifies a market potential of $1.5 trillion globally for smart cities in Energy, Transportation, Healthcare, Building, Infrastructure, and Governance.

European Smart Cities like Barcelona, Paris, London, Nice, Amsterdam and Stockholm are Smart City precursors using technology and communications for safer, cleaner, and more intuitive urban spaces. Other cities around the world, in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and in: Korea: Songdo, Seoul, are using Smart City technologies to do everything from monitoring pollution to producing crowd-sourced data models. The Smart Cities Master’s program offered by HEI introduces students to the role of engineering in Smart-City development and gives them the professional skills needed to compete.

Experts predict that major cities like Chicago, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, and San Francisco will be Smart Cities within the next five years, and France is already a leader in Smart-City development.

France is partner with India to transform cities like Nagpur, Chandigarh, and Puducherry, into Smart Cities. The Smart Cities Mission in India has brought Smart City status to 25 different municipalities, the need is so urgent.  Cities like Wuhan and Tianjin in China have joined a massive U.K.-China initiative, pairing with Manchester, Bristol and others.  The 21st Century Club initiated a similar program with leaders from France and China in 2014. Engineers with Smart-City expertise are in high demand everywhere around the world, as more and more cities adopt policies aimed at integrating technology and sustainability.

Smart Studies

Students who enrol in HEI’s Smart City program gain first-hand experience in fields like energy efficiency, sustainable building construction, environmental conservation and restoration, and waste management. The two-year Master’s program includes two paid internships, and HEI’s connections to Smart City industries around the world means that students have the chance to work with some of the leaders in innovation. HEI has 300 Academic partners and over 2500 Industrial partners all around the world. Students leave the program with worldwide connections across the sector and the proficiency to work in exciting and emerging fields like Life Cycle Assessment, Smart Energy Grid production, Sustainable Habitat Construction, and Automation.

HEI’s Smart City program builds on France’s commitment to sustainable growth, as well as the country’s reputation as a leader and innovator in industrial development. HEI has been educating and training industrial leaders for France and the world since 1885. Student skills are relevant to today and tomorrow, a variety of fields to prepare and adapt their knowledge to change. This makes HEI graduates the perfect choice for Smart-City development projects, because while no Smart City is the same as another, they all require creative problem-solving, progressive vision, and a drive to innovate.