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.

Our passport of Smart City projects

The smart city issues we help address

Smart Cities require a 360 holistic perspective that brings solutions to every aspect of urban life—from governance, funding, and finance, to schools and public services, to transportation and energy.


Environment: Clearing the air through smart systems

For a Smart City to live up to its name, using technology to foster sustainable growth is essential. This means leveraging evolving applications to maximize the efficient use of precious resources and encourage sound choices by all players. State-of the-art resource management impacts not only city-owned facilities and services, but businesses, universities, hospitals, non-profits, and individuals. This means leveraging sensor technology, behavioral economics, and gamification to alter not only physical infrastructure, but to encourage positive resourcing decisions.

Learn more about smart resource management for sustainable growth.
Mobility: Creating a seamless urban mobility operating system

Mobility becomes as much about bits and bytes as it is about the physical infrastructure on which we walk, bike, drive, and ride. Sensor-powered dynamic pricing, mobile-enabled collaborative transport models like ridesharing, and social transport apps help tackle traffic congestion in major urban corridors. Mobility emerges as a service which relies on a digital platform that integrates end-to-end trip planning, booking, electronic ticketing, and payment services across all modes of transportation, public or private. Read about Deloitte’s view on Future of Mobility.

Learn more about integrated mobility solutions for smart cities.
Security: Smarter crime takes smarter policing

As criminals become smarter and crime more high-tech, public safety and security agencies employ a sophisticated arsenal of defenses. Law enforcement officers use drones, wearable computing devices, facial-recognition systems, and predictive video to fight crime and protect public safety. Data plays an increasingly important role in crime prevention as agencies try to preempt crime by tapping into all streams of data including social and crowdsourced data.

Learn more about fighting crime through technology.
Economy: Industry and government drive growth together

The smart economy of the future is both seamless and dynamic. The growing ubiquity of digital and exponential growth in other technologies sees government regulatory processes becoming nimble and responsive. Advances in technology help smart cities streamline government procedures, like permitting and licensing, providing a seamless experience to businesses.

Learn more about seamless systems for smarter economies.
Living: Quality of life through tailored, coordinated human services

A truly Smart City advances the concept of Smart Living, a variety of approaches that leverage technology to enhance daily life. Cities promote tools and technologies that help citizens monitor their health, wire their homes to improve energy use, and more easily access tailored human services. Coupled with new data approaches such as predictive analytics and insights from the field of behavioral economics, Smart Living encourages citizens to make better choices in their own lives.

Learn more about how smart cities live smart.
Education: Wireless ways to lifelong learning

Education enabled by virtual learning, digitization and augmented reality transforms the way we learn. Unbundled, personalized, and blended education is becoming more prevalent. Augmented by rich data and analytics, the next-generation teachers adapt their learning and counseling to maximize student success. The focus shifts from digital content in the classroom to real-world experiential learning where students, teachers, and on-the-ground experts connect—paving the way for lifelong learning.

Learn more about smarter ways to educate for tomorrow, today.

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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.


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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