Urenio Watch Watch: Digital Cities / Cyber Cities

ICT for City Management

The report “ICT for City Management – Enabling, engaging and empowering city stakeholders” is based on surveys about ICT and city management of three stakeholder groups’”public officials, city residents and business executives’”in 15 cities across the world, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

A revolution in city management is underway, comparable to the adoption a century ago of widespread electrification. Systems to collect and analyze data are enhancing the safety, security, usability and efficiency of city infrastructure. Mobile phones, the Internet and wireless technology are transforming the way citizens and businesses interact with city officials, enabling them to monitor the impact of their actions on the natural environment.

The key findings of the research include the following:

  • Businesses and public officials think a strong Internet network is crucial for a city’ s competitiveness.
  • Businesses feel that government inefficiency and opacity are among the biggest constraints to a city’ s competitiveness’”but expect e-government to help.
  • Emerging cities are integrating ICT into their new infrastructure, while mature cities can make use of ICT to prolong the life of existing systems.
  • While solutions like congestion charging are known to be effective, citizens may not necessarily see their value.
  • Citizens feel that ICT can influence behavior towards environmental conservation by giving them more information about their usage of resources such as energy and water.
  • Stakeholders blame each other for the slow adoption of electronic service delivery.
  • Citizen-developed applications are an emerging trend around the world.

The EIU compiled the survey questions in consultation with Siemens Global Centre of Competence, City Management (the sponsors of the research, based in Singapore) and with input from Ashish Lall, Associate Professor affiliated with the Asia Competitiveness Institute at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

In addition to the surveys, the Economist Intelligence Unit’ s research team independently interviewed public officials, executives and experts on the subject of ICT in city management. From these interviews, and extensive background research, the Economist Intelligence Unit selected a number of innovative case studies to illustrate findings in each section of the report. These are included in a separate section at the end of the report. The Economist Intelligence Unit bears sole responsibility for the editorial content of this report.


Download the report (PDF file)