Written by IEEE | July 19, 2018

In its 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) estimates that 68 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050 – a 13 percent increase from 2018.

Urbanization leads to increased demand for intelligent, sustainable environments that reduce environmental impact while offering citizens a higher quality of life. The smart cities of tomorrow will need to bring together technology, government and society, all of which will be supported by intelligent and sustainable power and energy systems and initiatives.

A core factor in this urban evolution is the modernization of the electrical grid, which will enable countries to better meet the demands of their growing urban populations. The IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) is helping with this enormous challenge.

Comprised of the foremost leaders in power and energy, PES provides the world’s largest forum for sharing the latest in technological developments in the electric power industry, for developing standards that guide the development and construction of equipment and systems, and for educating members of the industry and the public.

Through the discussion and ideation of standards, conferences, publications and technical policy support, PES and its members are actively shaping the future of utilities, particularly as they relate to urban areas.

One project on which PES is the lead contributor is the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative, which aims to bring together IEEE’s broad array of technical societies and organizations to better advance state-of-the-art smart city technologies. Working with the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE Control Systems Society, the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation and the IEEE Industry Applications Society, Smart Cities coordinates information between industry, academic and government stakeholders.

Additionally, PES is continuing to support workforce development in underserved communities to provide a more diverse workforce. Programs such as Women in Power, mentoring young professionals, engaging the academic community, educating the workforce and providing content for the IEEE PES Resource Center will help continue this growth for decades to come, allowing PES to continue to support smart urbanization initiatives around the globe.