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City leaders will write next chapter of the urban age

American cities can be champions of growth and innovation

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National politics may be divided, but America is entering a new phase in which cities are the drivers of governance and innovation. Individual cities are pursuing smart initiatives more than anyone at the national level. Data-driven policies are making cities more livable and competitive in an uncertain world. In short: cities will innovate by connecting data and technology to the lives of their citizens.

To connect the city to its citizens, three key changes will have to occur. First, cities will have to make an active investment in hiring C-level data officers. Many major cities already have Chief Data and Information Officers, but their expertise will also be crucial for secondary and tertiary cities. Next, cities should focus on digitizing government services: by digitizing interactions between government and citizens, key stakeholders can unlock useful insights through collected data. Finally, cities must champion public-private partnerships, which can accelerate the process of integrating data and encourage financial inclusion.

Dr. Parag Khanna, the world’s foremost expert in the development of connected cities as a geopolitical and economic force, presents his revolutionary thinking in this paper, U.S. Cities: By the People and By the Numbers. Dr. Khanna’s work has been called a “must-read” for global leaders. He believes that the most critical influencers will be the mayors and other government officials that lead U.S. cities.

Dr. Khanna highlights three vital areas that will define the innovation inherent in U.S. cities. Key points include:

  • Best practices for innovations in city-based transit and financial inclusion
  • Ideas for including private-sector partners in their future
  • Three urgent focus areas for city leaders as they consider consequential decisions
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US Cities: By the People and By The Numbers

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