Turning forces of change into opportunities for smart cities

Quality of life, sustainability, and economic competitiveness

Fast-changing technologies are converging, shifting the promise of smart cities from futuristic dreams to today’s realities.

The path of possible

Futurists have long envisioned the cities of our tomorrow where residents and visitors thrive. Fine-tuned and seamlessly operated, these modern urban environments hum with advanced multi-modal transit systems, self-sustaining energy grids, and clean and safe neighborhoods, integrated services and an array of meaningful amenities that transform our cities from places to escape, to preferred destinations to live. While incremental progress has been made toward this bright future, cities and communities continue to face complex challenges, including infrastructure upkeep, population growth and migration, and sustainability issues.

It all starts with resources

Look again, though, and you’ll see that positive change and step-wise advances are possible—but only when you can chart the path to value. Big dreams almost always begin in the real-world reality of funding and finance, governance, and leadership. Faced with ever-shrinking budgets and continued aversion to new taxes, city planners, business leaders, and government officials can step beyond just municipal bonds and reach ahead to innovative solutions that include public-private partnerships, pay-for-performance programming, revenue sharing, and other innovative investment models.

This means getting the right people around the table, creating a vision for the future that constituents can understand and support, and mapping out how to get there. You can achieve tomorrow today by engaging government, industry, academia, non-profits and citizens, create the right governance structure,and provide leadership.

Case studies: Where we have already helped cities on their smart city journey.

Deloitte 360° Smart City Framework

A comprehensive view is needed to support the inter-related nature of living, working, learning, and providing services to citizens in an urban environment.

Deloitte developed a 360° Smart City Framework, which looks across a city’s operations to use technology to improve outcomes.


Digitization and disruptive technologies are affecting many current jobs. Cities must have a strategy to address jobs of the future, including what is considered industry 4.0: Fnancial technology, the future of food, the future of retail, and the future of tourism and leisure.
Environment & Energy

Cites must push toward a wiser use of resources, from implementing sensors that detect leakage to preserve natural resources to using behavioral economics and gamification to encourage citizens to make thoughtful decisions on resource use.
Government & Education

Data analytics help cities develop insight-driven policy making, track performance and outcomes, enable constituent engagement, and help government efficiency. Virtual learning, digitization, and augmented reality lead to unbundled, personalized, and blended education. Learn more about smarter ways to educate for tomorrow, today.
Living & Health

Cities encourage connected communities through constructing smart buildings, innovating in the healthcare sector, and using data to monitor and enhance social programs. This connection contributes to an improved quality of life and sustainability. Through nudging, cities promote healthier lifestyles.
Safety & Security

Drones, wearable computing, facial recognition, and predictive video help fight crime and protect public safety. Agencies preempt crime by tapping into data, including social media and crowdsourced data. Secure platforms, clear governance, and smart access help ensure that privacy protocols are maintained, and data is safeguarded against cyber threats.

Shared mobility, autonomous vehicles, dynamic pricing, the internet of things (IoT), and advanced analytics enable more people and goods to move faster, safer, cheaper, and cleaner. More people using bikes or walking helps to encourage healthier lifestyles. Learn more about Deloitte’s view on Future of Mobility.

Back to top

How we address smart city issues: Because no two cities share the same tale, we provide a holistic approach to helping cities implement smart solutions.

Let's talk: You want to prepare your city’s infrastructure for a better future. We have the tools to help make that dream your city’s reality.

If you are interested in learning more about what makes a city transportation system "smart," please fill out the form below and one of our team members will be in touch soon.


Fullwidth SCC. Do not delete! This box/component contains JavaScript that is needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.

Get in touch

Rana Sen

Rana Sen

Transportation and Smart City Initiative Lead

Rana is a managing director in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Public Sector practice, leading Deloitte’s smart city initiative in the US and supporting Deloitte’s smart city work globally. He has more than... More