Across the world, cities are acutely aware that they need to upgrade their infrastructure and systems to improve life for citizens and residents. This is becoming more urgent as rapid urbanization continues – by 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, up from 54 percent in 2014, according to the United Nations. This could add 2.5 billion people to the world’s city-dwelling population, placing additional strain on city services.

 Cities can form partnerships with large corporations, small and medium-sized businesses and startups to reach their smart city goals. However, they should focus on technology with open standards to stay flexible and to prevent dependency on one vendor.

To make progress, cities need to carefully consider the cost-benefit of any investment as well as exploring new finance and funding models. One thing is certain: it’s unlikely cities can go it alone.