/
Roundtable

What Are the Main Trends Seen in SmartCity Development in Mexico?

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:39

Technology is being developed at an exponential rate and, given that companies are struggling to adapt to the context, municipalities face even more challenges as they must balance a growing population and budget cuts while still meeting demand. Fortunately, Mexico launched the Association for Mexican Municipalities and Smart Cities (AMECI), which strives to connect strategic sectors, such as energy and mobility with information and communication technology Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Review asked leading experts in technology and executives from influential infrastructure companies their opinion on the matter.

Javier Cordero

Javier Cordero

President and Director General
Oracle Mexico

A Smart City is one that achieves efficiency between its inhabitants and suppliers. To achieve this efficiency, Smart Cities require IoT, the Cloud and Big Data. IoT is fundamental, since every element of the city must be connected to send information to the Cloud. When it comes to digital transformation, neuronal networks are fundamental. We are focusing on traditional business, but new technologies such as IoT are connecting everything to the internet. Mexico does not have the infrastructure to support this transformation just yet. However, this is changing and we are on the right path. There are several companies heavily investing to reinforce the existence of the 4G network. Telecom companies are now working toward a new generation of 4G where users will be able to reach cable-speed connections without being connected to a cable. This will lead to new business models that we cannot even imagine now.

Marco Vigueras

Marco Vigueras

Country Senior Officer
Nokia

The challenge is in identifying who will pay for the required infrastructure. In the long run, this will no longer be a hurdle because Smart Cities make smart use of city budgets. There are many costs that can be reduced if we use technology, but the problem is getting started. We are transitioning toward developing more IoT and Smart City solutions for enterprises. Moving on from our roots in mobile phones, we want to create products that will make communication even more efficient in the future. In order for cities to thrive, they must become smart, safe and sustainable by investing in shared, secure and scalable infrastructure, and this is known as the “Six S” strategy. The company is looking to help cities achieve this mission through a holistic and horizontally-layered framework. The speed in which these changes are implemented depends greatly on the government and on how it is encouraging transformation.

Gabriela Gómez-Mont

Gabriela Gómez-Mont

Director General
Laboratorio de la Ciudad

We believe that many social and urban challenges require different players to sit around the same table, and one of the things we needed to do from the outset was to create new tools to better understand the city. In the last four years, we have been carrying out a number of projects. Our urban geography department has developed interesting tools with which we have been geolocalizing certain information about the city. We can cross-reference data on the number of children per block with information on access to open and public spaces and marginalization and segregation indexes across the city. We understand that in a city as sprawling and diverse as Mexico City, more data-driven and focused policy is required.

Miguel Angel González

Miguel Angel González

General Manager
Danfoss Mexico

The first thing holding back development is the current infrastructure. As a company, we need to continue innovating our solutions and connected components so we can connect people’s minds to the machines. Smart components can help us predict if something is wrong or if something will happen that will put the system at risk and it can raise yellow flags that allow preemptive action to be taken. For me, Smart Cities have to be based on the optimal quality of life in each city so this same process that we apply on a micro level can be applied to Smart Cities.

Bernardo Ortiz

Vicente Torres

Director General
PVT Group America Latina

Industrialized countries have been working on their city infrastructure for 50-100 years and have invested trillions of dollars in creating efficient networks. Many believe this is a good basis to create a Smart City and that developing countries will take many years to catch up. But Mexico and other Latin American countries actually have the advantage in this regard. For instance, a telecommunications boom occurred in Africa where there were no landlines and the investment was never made to build the network. Instead, the country did a leapfrog jump right into cell phone technology simply by installing some towers. Smart mobility in Latin America will work on the same premise.

Bernardo Ortiz

Bernardo Ortiz

Managing Principal of Mexico and Latin America
IBI Group

Large populations make the development of Smart Cities even more challenging and some important stepping stones to reaching this goal are comprehensive planning, participative governance and the strengthening of institutions beyond borders to allow for seamless integration of transportation systems. Mexico City and the State of Mexico must coordinate to overcome their transit problems and create an interconnected and efficient transportation system. Technology needs to be integrated both at a federal and local level and although Banobras, CAPUFE and SCT have various projects in the pipeline, there needs to be more of a macro vision. It is not just constructing the infrastructure but knowing how to operate it with a focus on the end user. There are many cities that can still be molded into smart cities, but we have to start planning now.

José Fenollosa

José Fenollosa

Director General
Meypar

End users are looking for ease of use and a smoother parking experience and this demand will spur the entrance of payment applications in the market. When it comes to parking tariffs, clients want to pay their fee quickly, using their phones, for example, so they can avoid waiting in line to pay. Technology will assist in cutting the time users spend finding available spaces and the traffic that the process creates. As this type of technology requires the strategic collection and analysis of data, Clouds will become an increasingly important factor for owners that want a convenient location to place all of the information they receive. In theory, the data should be shared so that software developers can create better apps but in practice, companies struggle with the idea of giving away business intelligence.