Industry, government, academia to create global smart city roadmap

Industry, government, academia to create global smart city roadmap

New plan to plot a roadmap for urban transformation.

A research programme has been launched to provide city leaders around the world with a roadmap to becoming a successful smart city of the future.

Called Smarter Cities 2025, the new programme will use evidence-based analysis to produce best-practice insights and a business case for urban transformation.

The study will benchmark smart city progress across 100 cities worldwide to quantify the benefits of smart city initiatives for citizens, businesses, and governments, while identifying the business and financing models that ensure sustainable results.

The programme is the brainchild of economic consultancy ESI ThoughtLab. Its ‘urban economists’ are to work with a cross-sector coalition of organisations to provide city leaders with advanced analytical tools for driving innovation, growth, and prosperity.

The research programme will look at how technological, demographic, and market shifts will transform the behaviour of consumers and businesses in cities. It will also help to establish what steps successful smart cities taking in areas such as governance, infrastructure, and mobility to meet the needs of citizens and businesses.

The programme will look into what cities can do to transform themselves into future hubs of talent and innovation, and which smart city initiatives and skill sets will be most important in the future.

The coalition consists of eight corporate sponsors: Accenture, Cognizant, Exelon, Ferrovial Services, GM, Mastercard, Oracle, and Pennoni. It also includes an international group of research advisors specialising in urban analysis, including personnel from institutions such the Penn Institute of Urban Research, the Smart Cities Council, Sogang University School of Economics, Meeting of the Minds, Renaissance Urbaine, and more.

Benchmarking smart cities

ESI ThoughtLab will conduct the research over a six-month period and plans to release the results, including a white paper and a city benchmarking and performance impact platform, in the autumn of 2018.

“The convergence of digitisation, globalisation, and demographic change is redefining the urban landscape and how people shop, work, travel and live,” said Lou Celi, programme director and CEO of ESI ThoughtLab.

“Businesses with a stake in the future of cities are fast developing innovative solutions to meet the new realities of urban life and digital commerce. Without a clear playbook for the future, cities run the risk of falling far behind their local stakeholders and losing their competitiveness.”

Internet of Business says

As a range of reports on Internet of Business have revealed that smart city initiatives arise out of local leadership, national ambition, and cross-sector collaboration – plus critical central funding – the concept of benchmarking what makes smart cities work for all stakeholders is an excellent one. We look forward to seeing the results later this year.


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