As we head into 2023, cities around the world are continuing to adapt and evolve in order to keep up with the latest technological advancements and meet the needs of their citizens. From transportation and mobility to energy and real estate, there are several key smart city trends to watch for in 2023 that are shaping the future of our communities.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three of those trends.


One of the most important elements to any city is how people get around within it, and the outlook for 2023 so far is mixed.

On one hand, micromobility operators, such as scooter and bike-share companies, have experienced a year of stumbling growth, which some experts attribute to inflation and fears of a recession. Ebikes, in particular, are seen by some as a particularly attractive alternate mode of transportation that more smart cities will build out and plan for, so this is definitely a space to watch.

Meanwhile, the adoption of electric vehicles is on the rise, with more than 807,000 EVs sold in the US last year. With advances in artificial intelligence, faster semiconductors and vehicle connectivity, we can look forward to more and safer autonomous vehicles in the next few years, and with the capabilities enabled by smart infrastructure, EVs and autonomous vehicles are a sector well worth keeping an eye on.

The Road Ahead

Speaking of automobiles, one of the bigger recent shifts in city design is the rethinking of how we’re actually using the roads we drive on every day. As evidence continues to mount that adding more lanes to roads does nothing to actually reduce congestion in the long term, many cities are starting to think outside the box for new solutions.

Namely, by providing more options for getting around.

For instance, the city of Rockford, Illinois, is transforming its downtown by reducing a main thoroughfare by one lane of traffic to accommodate “a protected multi-use path for pedestrians and bicycles.” Meanwhile, New York City is expanding its pandemic-era Open Streets program, which involves closing whole streets off to vehicle traffic in order to promote more walking and outdoor activities.

This could lead to a transformational shift in how people navigate their cities, and city leaders would be wise to consider how they can use smart infrastructure and technology to make these new alternatives even more useful for their citizens.

Adaptive Reuse

In its earliest days, the pandemic shuttered offices across the country as businesses either sent their workers home or laid them off. Now, in 2023, many workers have returned, but not all of them have come back to the office. This is leaving hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space empty and unused.

One solution that’s quickly gaining traction is office-to-residential conversions, a form of adaptive reuse. New York City has proposed it. Washington D.C. is leading the way.

By simultaneously reducing vacant offices and increasing much-needed housing, adaptive reuse is another shift that will transform cities in a profound way that offers remarkable opportunities for any city planner looking to build out their city’s smart infrastructure.

Navigate the Future, Together

There’s plenty to look forward to in the coming year, from exciting challenges to new opportunities, and it’ll be fascinating to see how these smart city trends of 2023 develop over the coming months.

Discover how Hylan helps city planners and municipal leaders make smart cities a reality by partnering with private companies and government agencies. Our teams build out the foundational infrastructure for smart cities to connect utilizing our decades of experience in both wireless and fiberless technologies.

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