An actionable roadmap for building cities back smarter, greener, and aligned with changing citizen needs
The pandemic is accelerating the need for urban transformation, creating extraordinary opportunities for your company. As urban leaders think beyond the pandemic, they will require your support for their plans to rebuild their cities to meet the shifting expectations of citizens, stimulate economic recovery, and ensure future resiliency, security, and sustainability.
To provide urban leaders with an actionable roadmap for building back their cities in these unprecedented times, ThoughtLab, in conjunction with Hatch, is launching its fourth multi-client urban research program, Building a Future-Ready City. This program brings together top city government, business, and academic leaders to examine the most effective investments and solutions for meeting the social, environment, and economic imperatives of operating in a radically different, post-pandemic world.
The pandemic has forever changed the expectations and behaviors of citizens and businesses, requiring cities to build back smarter, safer, and greener—with the agility and built environment to address shifting needs and future disruptions. The most successful metro areas will be those that have concrete blueprints for morphing into future-ready, carbon-neutral cities, drawing on innovative technologies, new sources of financing, and public-private partnerships. Our ground-breaking research program will provide cities with the evidence-based roadmap they need to address the challenges they face.
Our goal is to provide urban leaders with an evidence-based roadmap for becoming a future-ready city—one that is fully sustainable, resilient, secure, and fit for purpose in a post-pandemic world.
Our research team will survey 200 cities and 2,000 citizens around the world
We will analyze and compare the best practices, investment plans, digital strategies, and performance results of 200 worldwide cities striving to become more sustainable, resilient, and future ready. To enable us to benchmark urban areas with similar characteristics, we will gather survey and statistical data on cities that are diverse by location, population size, income level, density, economic development, and other critical factors. In addition, to assess the alignment between government plans and citizen needs, we will survey 2,000 citizens and gather additional citizen data directly from cities to assess changing living, working, and traveling behaviors, as well as shifting service requirements and levels of trust.
This rigorous research methodology will allow us to provide action plans tailored to different types of cities geared to evolving citizen needs, attitudes, and behaviors.
Our mixed methods research approach
ThoughtLab is building a coalition of urban experts across cities, government, businesses, academics, and associations. Building a Future-Ready City will provide urban service providers and consultants with valuable market intelligence on the main areas of investment for cities as they emerge from the pandemic. Our research will enable companies to design successful go-to-market plans aligned to the needs of a diverse set of cities around the world.
Join our coalition as a sponsor to build a successful thought leadership and client engagement program that leverages valuable content and unique smart city benchmarking data and analysis. Join as an advisor to provide insight and gain access to valuable project research.
Sponsors and partners
Media & Association Partners
Chief Digital Officer Almaty City, Kazakhstan
Miquel Rodriguez Planas
Commissioner Barcelona City Council
Dr. Peter Pirnejad
City Manager, Los Altos Hills, CA
Director of Sustainability and Resilience, Orlando, FL
City Manager, Pearland, TX
Chief Innovation Officer, SEPTA
Operational Lead, City of Ottawa
Managing Director, Technology & Innovation Partnerships
New York Housing Authority (Personal Capacity)
Head of Smart City Trondheim, Norway
City Manager, Torrance, CA
Assistant City Manager, Torrance, CA
Deputy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore
Smart City Program Manager, Dublin
Smart City Pilots & Partnerships
Smart Cities Data & Planning Consultant, London
In Dong Cho
Metropolitan Government First Vice Mayor, Seoul, South Korea
CIO, Bucaramanga, Colombia
Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transporation
CIO, Cary City, NC
Director Innovation and Technology Sioux Falls, SD
Executive Director Dallas Innovation Alliance
Deputy Mayor Auckland
Executive VP, Planning and Development, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, TX
Chief Communications Officer Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Smart Mobility, Parking Enterprise & Mobility Services, Clark County, NV
Metro21: Smart Cities Institute,
Carnegie Mellon University
Joan E. Ricart
Professor IESE Business School
Professor, The Penn Institute for Urban Research
Professor of Economics Sogang University
Professor, University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy
Prof. Greg Clark
CBE FAcSS, Group Advisor, Future Cities & New Industries, HSBC
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan; M-City
Professor of Urban Planning & Design, Tsinghua University Tianjin, China
Dr. Yu Qi
Associate Professor Nankai University; Tianjin, China
Deputy CIO for Partnerships, Cloud Innovation Center, Arizona State University
General Manager, Cloud Innovation Center, Arizona State University
Co-Director, Center for Smart Cities and Regions, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University
VP of the Institute of Urban Design and Innovation at CAFA, China
Prof. Maosheng Lai
Peking University of China
Dr. Sanjay Modak Assistant Professor Graduate Programs and Research Department
RIT of Dubai
Managing Director Smart Cities Council
Chief Executive Officer Smart Cities World
Secretary General, United Cities
General Manager, Public Sector Edelman
Head of Global Development Program, Anbound
Chief Executive Officer Fiware
Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, Reimagining Cities LLC
Founding Principal Renaissance Urbaine
Sameh Naguib Whaba
Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, World Bank
Director of Community Engagement Open Sustainability Collaborative
Head of Urban Transformation World Economic Forum
Vice President, Strategic Industry Programs, CTIA
Deputy Secretary General GO SMART
Pablo Marmissolle Daugerre
Chief of Staff, United Cities and Local Governments
About the Program
ThoughtLab will work with sponsors to provide cities with an evidence-based roadmap for becoming a future-ready city and leader in climate action. Drawing on insights from our global analysis and best practices of leading cities, we will create a complete action plan that urban leaders can use to benchmark their strategies for building a future-ready 4.0 city.
Preliminary Program Timeline
By Louis Celi, CEO, ThoughtLab Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights a depressing fact about cities and war: cities often take the brunt of attacks and bear the greatest financial and human cost. Two-thirds of Ukraine’s population of 44 million people lived in cities before the conflict began. Millions of them have fled their homes, and hundreds have been killed. The cost to Ukrainian civilian property and infrastructure already surpasses $100 billion.
Relevant Thought Leadership Work
Understanding city challenges that inform marketing communications
Lou Celi, discusses his firm’s ground-breaking research into how cities around the world are rethinking their plans for today’s riskier, digital-first world.
Building a Future Ready City is the fourth program in a series of ground-breaking multi-client studies ThoughtLab has produced on smart cities trends.
ThoughtLab, in collaboration with a global coalition of business, government, and academic leaders has aimed at providing city decision-makers with an evidence-based roadmap to building the smart city of the future.
ThoughtLab gathered benchmarking data from 100 cities, conducted in-depth interviews with city leaders, and drew on valuable input from a cross industry coalition of leading firms and research organizations. This study provides an in-depth evidence-based roadmap that cities can use to become vibrant, hyperconnected urban centers of the future.
This report showcases how 10 cities across regions, population sizes, and economic maturity are achieving the SDGs. It spotlights challenges and provides valuable insights for their peers.
ThoughtLab teamed up with a coalition of organizations with urban and technology expertise to conduct ground-breaking research into the impact of smart city solutions on urban performance. Our research identified 10 smart city pillars that work together to drive benefits to local stakeholders.
For more information on how you can join our coalition as an advisory board member or a sponsor for Building a Future-Ready City, contact us today.