Building a Future-Ready City
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Building a Future-Ready City

By CIOReview | Friday, January 20, 2023

A roadmap for the next phase of urban transformation

Cities are in the throes of unprecedented change. Still reeling from the pandemic, and now facing economic, social, and climate disruptions, cities must quickly come to grips with the rising expectations of citizens. These run the gamut: wider digital access to public services, medicine, and education; more sustainable and safer infrastructure, mobility, and living conditions; and greater inclusiveness, public health, and affordable housing.

Baby steps won’t be enough. To overcome today’s urban challenges, cities must become future-ready. They need to morph into sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and safe metropolises—with newly fit-for-purpose digital and physical infrastructure.

This is no easy task. Today’s cities face severe skills shortages and budget constraints that make it difficult to keep up with the pace of change. They must contend with onerous political processes, changes in administrations, and regulatory and procurement complexity. Added to that is the need to put out daily fires.

To provide urban leaders with a roadmap for futureproofing their cities, ThoughtLab teamed up with Hatch Urban Solutions and a coalition of business, government, and academic leaders to conduct this ground-breaking research, titled Building a Future-Ready City. To analyze the latest views and strategies, we benchmarked 200 worldwide cities—representing 5% of the global population. In addition, we surveyed 2,000 citizens across 20 cities, interviewed city decision makers across regions, and held discussion groups with urban leaders and experts.

"A future-ready city in a post-pandemic world is one that embraces stakeholder and community engagement, innovation, and technology to cultivate a thriving and enduring community. These cities will be advanced in using smart technology and data to accelerate progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, improve our collective resilience, and transition to a zero-carbon economy. ThoughtLab’s research will help shed light on the path ahead for cities."

- Chris Castro, Director of the Office of Sustainability and Resilience for the City of Orlando

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