Connect with us

Demographics

How the World’s Smartest Cities are Being Built

Published

on

View a high resolution version of this graphic
How the World's Smartest Cities are Being Built

How the World’s Smartest Cities are Being Built

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

As the world’s biggest cities continue to sprawl with many millions of new people, they’ll look to many of the technologies and tactics covered in today’s infographic from Raconteur to work smarter – and not harder – for their inhabitants.

Why Cities?

Cities are the engines of modern society.

They power the global economy, consume vast amounts of resources, house the majority of the world’s population, and create much of the pollution and emissions that have scientists concerned about the future.

Why Cities

And while big cities consume a lot of resources already – this hardly compares to the megacities of the near-future. In fact, in our lifetimes, we will see massive urban areas in Africa and Asia with populations that swell to 50 million people or more.

That’s right – there will be swelling urban populations that consume more food, energy, and materials than most countries.

The Right Timing

While the prospect of optimizing for the problems of burgeoning metropolises may seem daunting, the timing is actually perfect. The arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) – thanks to innovations in cheap sensor technology, big data, and predictive analytics – is making it possible to tackle all sorts of urban issues.

Integrating this, along with other advancements in information communication technology (ICT), into urban planning is the vision for smart cities:

What is a Smart City?

But, enough on the broad strokes of this movement – here’s how specific changes are taking place.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Here are some of the initiatives taken on by the people running the smartest cities today:

Smart roads
Monitoring vehicle and pedestrian levels to optimize or divert traffic according to conditions. Intelligent, adaptive fast and slow lanes for walking and cycling.

Smart buildings
Rooftop gardens or vegetation on sides of buildings to help with insulation. Optimization of heating, energy usage, lighting, and ventilation. Integrating photovoltaics and wind turbines into building designs.

Smart lighting
Intelligent and weather adaptive street lights to boost energy efficiency.

Smart waste management
Monitoring garbage levels in containers in real-time to optimize collection routes.

Smart grids
Energy consumption monitoring and management. Uses tech to detect and react to local changes in usage.

And cities aren’t the only thing becoming smarter. See how the home is becoming smarter, as well.

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist

Thank you!
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Continue Reading
Comments

Chart of the Week

How the Modern Consumer is Different

We all have a stereotypical image of the average consumer – but is it an accurate one? Meet the modern consumer, and what it means for business.

Published

on

How the Modern Consumer is Different

How the Modern Consumer is Different

There is a prevailing wisdom that says the stereotypical American consumer can be defined by certain characteristics.

Based on what popular culture tells us, as well as years of experiences and data, we all have an idea of what the average consumer might look for in a house, car, restaurant, or shopping center.

But as circumstances change, so do consumer tastes – and according to a recent report by Deloitte, the modern consumer is becoming increasingly distinct from those of years past. For us to truly understand how these changes will affect the marketplace and our investments, we need to rethink and update our image of the modern consumer.

A Changing Consumer Base

In their analysis, Deloitte leans heavily on big picture demographic and economic factors to help in summarizing the three major ways in which consumers are changing.

Here are three ways the new consumer is different than in years past:

1. Increasingly Diverse
In terms of ethnicity, the Baby Boomers are 75% white, while the Millennial generation is 56% white. This diversity also transfers to other areas as well, such as sexual and gender identities.

Not surprisingly, future generations are expected to be even more heterogeneous – Gen Z, for example, identifies as being 49% non-white.

2. Under Greater Financial Pressure
Today’s consumers are more educated than ever before, but it’s come at a stiff price. In fact, the cost of education has increased by 65% between 2007 and 2017, and this has translated to a record-setting $1.5 trillion in student loans on the books.

Other costs have mounted as well, leaving the bottom 80% of consumers with effectively no increase in discretionary income over the last decade. To make matters worse, if you single out just the bottom 40% of earners, they actually have less discretionary income to spend than they did back in 2007.

3. Delaying Key Life Milestones
Getting married, having children, and buying a house all have one major thing in common: they can be expensive.

The average person under 35 years old has a 34% lower net worth than they would have had in the 1990s, making it harder to tackle typical adult milestones. In fact, the average couple today is marrying eight years later than they did in 1965, while the U.S. birthrate is at its lowest point in three decades. Meanwhile, homeownership for those aged 24-32 has dropped by 9% since 2005.

A New Landscape for Business?

The modern consumer base is more diverse, but also must deal with increased financial pressures and a delayed start in achieving traditional milestones of adulthood. These demographic and economic factors ultimately have a ripple effect down to businesses and investors.

How do these big picture changes impact your business or investments?

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist

Thank you!
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Continue Reading

Culture

How Different Generations Approach Work

Summing up the differences in how generations approach work, including on topics such as communication, motivation, and employer loyalty.

Published

on

How Different Generations Approach Work

View the full-size version of the infographic by clicking here

The first representatives of Generation Z have started to trickle into the workplace – and like generations before them, they are bringing a different perspective to things.

Did you know that there are now up to five generations now working under any given roof, ranging all the way from the Silent Generation (born Pre-WWII) to the aforementioned Gen Z?

Let’s see how these generational groups differ in their approaches to communication, career priorities, and company loyalty.

Generational Differences at Work

Today’s infographic comes to us from Raconteur, and it breaks down some key differences in how generational groups are thinking about the workplace.

Let’s dive deeper into the data for each category.

Communication

How people prefer to communicate is one major and obvious difference that manifests itself between generations.

While many in older generations have dabbled in new technologies and trends around communications, it’s less likely that they will internalize those methods as habits. Meanwhile, for younger folks, these newer methods (chat, texting, etc.) are what they grew up with.

Top three communication methods by generation:

  • Baby Boomers:
    40% of communication is in person, 35% by email, and 13% by phone
  • Gen X:
    34% of communication is in person, 34% by email, and 13% by phone
  • Millennials:
    33% of communication is by email, 31% is in person, and 12% by chat
  • Gen Z:
    31% of communication is by chat, 26% is in person, and 16% by emails

Motivators

Meanwhile, the generations are divided on what motivates them in the workplace. Boomers place health insurance as an important decision factor, while younger groups view salary and pursuing a passion as being key elements to a successful career.

Three most important work motivators by generation (in order):

  • Baby Boomers:
    Health insurance, a boss worthy of respect, and salary
  • Gen X:
    Salary, job security, and job challenges/excitement
  • Millennials:
    Salary, job challenges/excitement, and ability to pursue passion
  • Gen Z:
    Salary, ability to pursue passion, and job security

Loyalty

Finally, generational groups have varying perspectives on how long they would be willing to stay in any one role.

  • Baby Boomers: 8 years
  • Gen X: 7 years
  • Millennials: 5 years
  • Gen Z: 3 years

Given the above differences, employers will have to think clearly about how to attract and retain talent across a wide scope of generations. Further, employers will have to learn what motivates each group, as well as what makes them each feel the most comfortable in the workplace.

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist

Thank you!
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Continue Reading
Menē Company Spotlight

Subscribe

Join the 100,000+ subscribers who receive our daily email

Thank you!
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Popular