A new research programme aims to provide city leaders with a roadmap to becoming a successful smart city.
According to think tank ESI ThoughtLab, Smarter Cities 2025 will use evidence-based analysis to produce best-practice insights and a business case for urban transformation.
The six-month 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 research will identify how technological, demographic and market shifts will transform the behaviour of consumers and businesses in cities, and what steps successful smart cities are taking in areas such as governance, infrastructure and mobility to meet the needs of citizens and businesses.
It will also examine how cities are innovating to improve economic opportunity, prosperity and living standards for all citizens; how cities can harness disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the sharing economy, blockchain, biometrics and the Internet of Things, to drive performance; and reveal the most effective business plans for creating and funding the smart city of the future.
Urban economists from ESI ThoughtLab will work on the project with an international group of research advisors specialising in urban analysis, as well as eight corporate sponsors: Accenture, Cognizant, Exelon, Ferrovial Services, GM, Mastercard, Oracle and Pennoni.
“The convergence of digitisation, globalisation and demographic change is redefining the urban landscape and how people shop, work, travel and live,” commented 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.”