Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World
How Innovation can Drive Urban Resilience, Sustainability, and Citizen Well-Being
City leaders around the world all agree. Ensuring a healthy, safe, and inclusive future for their citizens is a top urban objective—but also the biggest challenge. Here are some facts that highlight that challenge:
When used correctly, technology can help to address many of these problems. From electric cars, smarter homes, and renewable energy, to cloud computing, IoT, and artificial intelligence, digital technology can help the world use resources more efficiently, reduce waste, work and live smarter, and identify and solve problems faster. Forward-looking cities, like Tel Aviv, Moscow, Stockholm, and Detroit, are already using technology to drive inclusiveness, empowerment, and better service to a diverse set of citizens. But other cities have seen their smart solutions fall flat or even backfire because of poor execution or citizen backlash.
To help cities achieve their sustainable goals, companies are building technology-enabled solutions that will drive the safety, health, and well-being of city dwellers. These solutions cut across all parts of an urban ecosystem—from transportation, buildings, and infrastructure to water, waste management, and energy to telecoms, lighting, and IT systems. Increasingly, city leaders are asking businesses to demonstrate the social, environmental, and economic benefits of their products and services to ensure they will deliver on urban goals and citizen needs. A deep understanding of a city’s social agenda--and how best to achieve it through smart solutions--is vital for building an effective relationship with urban leaders in today’s resource-constrained world.
Most urban and business leaders recognize that driving sustainability needs to start at the local level, where most of the world’s population live, and the toughest social and environmental challenges exist. But it is often unclear how to drive results because of the lack of an evidence-based roadmap. To fill this gap, ESI ThoughtLab is pleased to announce our 2020 smart city research initiative, Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World: How innovation can drive urban resilience, sustainability, and citizen well-being. The groundbreaking research program will show how smart technology can help cities generate social, environmental, and economic benefits for all citizens.
Download the research prospectus
Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World, will build on last year's Building a Hyperconnected City research program by examining how 150 cities across different population, income, and economic levels are harnessing smart technology and novel solutions to drive sustainability. Our team of urban economists and experts will conduct a comprehensive research program including:
- A rigorous benchmarking survey to compare the investments, practices, results, and plans of 150 worldwide cities using smart solutions to meet their urban goals.
- Comprehensive citizen surveys across different cities, municipalities, and communities to gain insight into their service needs, sustainability concerns, and views on technology.
- Unique performance-impact models that analyze the effectiveness of smart technologies and urban solutions in driving social, environmental, and economic benefits, from reduced crime, disease, and pollution to increased literacy, equality, and income.
- A rich, searchable database that will provide executives with data for identifying urban needs and opportunities and measuring the social and economic impact of their products and services.
- In-depth case studies of cities and municipalities, across different levels of population, income, and economic development, showing proven smart solutions for meeting sustainability goals.
Our goal is to provide city and business leaders with an evidence-based roadmap to sustainability and open a valuable dialogue between them to solve today's pressing social, environmental, and economic issues."
-Lou Celi, CEO, ESI ThoughtLab
The Roadmap to Sustainable and Inclusive Cities
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide one roadmap to balanced and equitable urban development. Adopted by 193 member countries, the 17 SDGs relate to environmental resilience, health, inclusiveness, economic growth, and governance. However, national governments alone will not be able to achieve these ambitious goals. ESI ThoughtLab’s research program will show cities the way.
Key Questions Our Research Will Answer
Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World will explore how 150 cities across regions, population levels, and economic development use smart technologies to achieve their sustainable agenda. Our evidence-based analysis will answer the following critical questions:
Which sustainability goals matter most to cities and their citizens?
How important is citizen health and inclusiveness, the environment, economic and urban development, and governance and business models? How well are 150 cities worldwide progressing towards achieving their sustainable development goals?
How are cities using digital technologies and solutions to drive sustainability?
Which technologies and solutions are most effective? What are the best ways to harness those technologies to promote greater inclusiveness, improved health, reduced pollution, and better services?
What is the impact of sustainability on citizen satisfaction and well-being?
Are citizens in sustainable cities happier, healthier, and more productive? How does sustainability help cities spur urban, social, and economic growth, and attract businesses, capital, and talent? Do these trends vary between and within cities?
What is the ROI on sustainability?
How do sustainable programs translate into better health, lower crime, more jobs, higher income, and other quantifiable benefits? How can cities benchmark the progress they are making, compare results with peer cities, and identify where to invest for the greatest social good?
What are the most successful use cases and business models for fostering sustainability through technology?
How are leading cities developing and financing their sustainable initiatives? How do use cases vary by a city’s economic profile and population? What are the lessons learned and mistakes to avoid?
Current Research Partners
ESI ThoughtLab is in the process of establishing a sponsorship coalition to help shape our research agenda. Below is a list of partners currently committed to Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World.
As a multi-client study, sponsor benefits include:
- Direct input into the research methodology.
- Participation in advisory board meetings.
- Exclusive and unlimited access to all research deliverables.
- Brand placement on all content deliverables.
- Involvement in a high-impact media outreach program.
- Personal access to the ESI ThoughtLab team to help you make the best use of the analysis.
Driving sustainability requires collaboration between business, government, and academia, as well as objective analysis to make the most effective evidence-based decisions. For more information on how you can join our ground-breaking research initiative, please contact us today.
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