By 2050, almost 70 percent of the global population is expected to be living in urban areas.
Layers of smartness—using technology and data—are being built into cities to make them safer, more efficient and sustainable.
Developed cities around the world are actively launching smart solutions, while new and emerging cities are integrating intelligent, connected systems from the start. The big cities of today may not be those of tomorrow.
The opportunities are immense—across infrastructure, mobility, energy, healthcare and beyond. Innovative technology applications and their adoption in society offer a turning point. Transformation across industries is inevitable over time, as the way we power cities, and the way we move around and interact with them, will change. The data privacy debate is also key to the future development of smart cities.
At its core, the smart city is about people and improving the quality of our everyday lives.
› Accelerating change: From smart city to smart society The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed some of the shortcomings of major cities in times of crisis. As the world searches for ways to make urban areas more resilient, smart city initiatives offer some of the answers.
› Human rights benchmarks: Corporate performance rankings on the rise What businesses need to know for a strategic approach
› Connected cars merge with payment technology As connected cars proliferate, auto, tech and financial companies will form alliances that raise familiar legal issues in new contexts
› Electric vehicles: On the cusp? The EV revolution is fully underway. With the UK government committed to the eradication of emissions and automakers fully embracing EVs, a tipping point seems to be on the near horizon.
› Electric storage: From idea to action Electric storage has been around for decades in the form of pumped hydro storage. But recent advances in battery and cutting-edge storage technologies have generated renewed interest in the benefits of storage.
› Battery Supply Chain The market is buzzing with speculation and activity across the battery supply chain.
Sustainability: "Environmental and social impacts are at the forefront of the smart city discussion, and the interaction between people, companies and technologies is essential for smart cities to thrive in a low carbon climate and to grow 'sustainably'." — Tallat Hussain, Counsel, London
Mobility: "Autotech, sharing models and data driven applications are revolutionizing the way we move around cities." — Tobias Heinrich, Partner, Frankfurt
Energy: "If the end game is to reduce carbon emissions to net zero, switching to renewables is only part of the answer." — Adeline Pang, Partner, Melbourne
Gigacities: "The vision for Saudi Arabia's futuristic cities is incredible – pivoting from an oil based economy towards the creation of zero emissions, smart technology hubs. The world will be looking at what happens here." — Adam Pierson, Partner, Riyadh
Healthcare: "COVID-19 is bound to accelerate innovations in cities across the health tech space." — Andres Liivak, Partner, New York
Infrastructure: "Infrastructure does not need to be smart from the start. Retrofitting what we already have is possible but must be flexible to be future proof." — Caroline Miller-Smith, Partner, London
Data: "Data protection is critical. Governments and companies need help to make better decisions about the data they handle." — Tim Hickman, Partner, London
Technology: "The adoption of new technology is key to cities becoming smarter – embedding real-time intelligence into systems and putting information into the hands of city dwellers." — Daren Orzechowski, Partner, Silicon Valley