The circular economy is a concept by which materials and products are kept at their highest possible value at all times. The rapid and pervasive development of digital technologies, along with an understanding of circular economy principles, will drastically change life for the average urban citizen much sooner than we think.
Consider the smart shareable home. On walking out the door of your home, smart thermostats will trigger the heating in the apartment to turn down to a minimum, saving energy (and lowering bills). Citizens could make even better use of their assets by converting an extra room into a secure office, rentable on a city-wide sharing platform. Should someone want to rent it on a given day, the heating will quickly power up in time for the temporary resident to feel comfortable and welcome. Demand is likely to be strong — the connected city will have more remote workers and contractors who would appreciate the quiet space.