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Building the Cities of the Future

Smart Dubai, Expo 2020 Dubai and Mastercard partner to conduct the Smart City Aspirations Survey

At the heart of smart city development lies engagement with its residents. The level and quality of engagement includes aspects such as sharing needs and wants; channels of interaction; feedback on governance; adoption of new technologies and channels; and communicating happiness or unhappiness with existing services. This helps make cities more livable, resilient and able to better respond to challenges. In the journey toward becoming smarter, the aim is to have cohesion between physical, digital and human systems.

To this end, Mastercard partnered with Smart Dubai and Expo 2020 Dubai to conduct a survey that captures the needs and wants of UAE residents. The Smart City Aspirations Survey explores how residents’ aspirations are driving the development of smart cities using new technologies, and outlines the trends and innovations paving the way for a brighter, more connected future for global cities.



The survey found:

  • 4 out of 5 survey respondents (79%) said they would be happier living in a smart city, regardless of their age or social class.
  • ‘Living in a sustainable and environmentally friendly city’ emerged as the most exciting innovation by far, with 53% of respondents choosing that option.
  • 42% of Respondents expect environment-friendly innovations in the smart city of the future, in the form of greener government and business practices.
  • In fact, paperless government services without visits to service centers emerge among the top expectations for 38% of respondents.
  • The most important feature of daily life for 28% of respondents was higher efficiency and a single app or platform, followed by better privacy and security of personal data (24%).
  • Smartphones were the chosen channel of communication for 67%, with variations across age groups – 73% of those 45 years and more opted for it, compared to 55% of 18 to 24-year-olds.
  • 54% of respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate the development of smart cities. They also agreed that cashless payments are likely to stay.

The white paper has identified cross-sector collaboration as a key factor in the future success of smart cities, along with the development of seamless, customer-centric experiences and solutions that advance growth and drive sustainability efforts. Effective public-private partnerships and collaboration among tech companies present a tremendous opportunity to drive sustainable and diversified development. Harnessing the expertise of both the private and public sector, powered by Blockchain and advanced software development technologies, solutions and platforms, cities can build connected and more inclusive communities that allow residents to provide real-time feedback and conduct processes and transactions in real time.

Seamless, Secure, Human: Building the cities of the future

To learn more about the opportunities for building the cities of the future, read the white paper “Seamless, Secure, Human: Building the cities of the future” by following these steps:

  1. Join the City Possible digital community
  2. Navigate to the “Resources & Best Practices” section, and click on “Research”
  3. Download the white paper

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