Smart Cities

How rapid advances in technology are reshaping our economy and society

Smart cities exist on the intersection of digital technology, disruptive innovation and urban environments. They are an exciting place to work and live and the breeding ground for new ideas.

The world is facing increasing urbanization while, simultaneously, major cities have become a magnet for talent and a driver of economic growth. At the same time, cities are experiencing persistent societal challenges: unemployment and crime demand solution, the need for energy efficiency is becoming urgent, increasing population puts higher pressure on the urban infrastructure and public authorities need to do more with less permanently.

Technology has been incorporated by cities for many years. However, the pace at which this adoption takes place is increasing rapidly as disruptive digital technologies have the potential to solve major metropolitan challenges. As a consequence, urban areas transform into ‘smart cities’. In this transformation, disruptive technology is only one of the drivers. The second ingredient of smart cities is data, the lifeblood of smart solutions. The challenge is to use the power of data to create smart solutions that address real needs of city users and are perceived as meaningful by them. Their intuitive design causes them to be adopted naturally, resulting in changes of behavior that are lasting. In the end, smart solutions are all about human behavior. Finally, the third cornerstone of smart cities is smart people. Focus on employability and winning the ‘war on talent’ is vital for sustainable economic growth.

This transformation from a traditional city to a ‘smart city’ does not just happen. Success depends on the quality of the decisions that are made and the way these decisions are executed. What is needed to be successful? What are the “do’s” and “don’ts” and what can be learned from cities that are early adopters? This report provides a joint point of view of Deloitte and the City of Amsterdam on this important theme that will shape the next decade.

This report is intended to be a living document. New releases of this report will be issued frequently to reflect advances in technology and new examples of smart solutions.

Smart Cities
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