"The convergence of digitalisation, globalisation and demographic change is redefining how cities are shared and how citizens buy, work, travel and live," says Lou Celi, CEO of ESI Thought Lab and director of the programme.
Ferrovial Services is participating in this project alongside Accenture, CBRE, General Motors, MasterCard, Oracle, Cognizant and Pennoni. In addition to these companies, the programme includes a research group made up of experts in urban analysis from organizations such as Penn Institute of Urban Research, Smart Cities Council, World Bank, Sogang University School of Economics, Meeting of the Minds and Renaissance Urbaine.
Elucidating the new challenges facing cities
The coalition's combined intellectual capital plus meticulous economic analysis and comparisons between projects will enable the programme to respond to some of the most important challenges that Smart Cities face nowadays:
- How will the technological, demographic and market changes of the digital era affect how consumers and businesses behave?
- What steps are cities taking in such areas as governance, infrastructure and mobility in order to satisfy the needs of citizens and business?
- To what extent will innovation help cities to improve economic opportunities, prosperity and living standards in the future?
- How will cities use future technologies — such as AI, circular economy and IoT — to become better?
- What can cities do to become hubs for new talent- and innovation-based businesses? What Smart Cities initiatives and applied skills will be most important in the future?
- What are the most effective business plans for creating the future Smart City?
In order to answer these questions, research will be carried out through surveys addressed to legislators, experts, consumers and businesses in key cities. The survey data and official statistics will be analysed to observe the economic impact of the initiatives. Impact models will be developed to make it possible to compare the degree of innovation in different cities. The work will be performed by a committee of experts drawn from participating companies, government and the academic community. ESI Thought Lab will release the results at the end of 2018.