Mastercard has launched a new global network for cities to work on smart cities programs leveraging its technology. The program is called “City Possible” and the company says it is looking for collaboration opportunities with municipal leaders to solve unique problems.
Sixteen cities are becoming founding members of the global City Possible network including: Athens, Aurora, IL, Baltimore, Dubai, Dublin, Helsinki, Honolulu, Kansas City, Melbourne, Prague, San Diego, and Altamonte Springs, FL, as well as the Greater Sydney communities of Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Liverpool, and Wollondilly.
As part of the project, Mastercard is partnering with the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University (TECH) which will host a series of programs to foster a regular learning exchange among global city leaders. “Through our learning exchanges, we want to equip CIOs and other urban leaders to better navigate this dynamic environment,” says Professor David S. Ricketts, fellow at TECH. Participants will also have access to an online community where they can continue the dialogue with their peers.
The United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme will also work with City Possible in an effort to accelerate local implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. “Knowledge sharing and robust relationship building between the private sector, civil society, and local and territorial governments is vital for achieving the SDGs — and this mindset sits at the heart of the Local 2030 initiative,” said Michael Nolan, director of the Global Compact Cities Programme. The UN will be working through City Possible to provide resources to local leaders on sustainability and help find robust solutions to problems.
Once key challenges that are shared by cities across the globe have been identified, City Possible will provide a framework for co-creating, testing and scaling solutions – connecting cities with private sector players that are equally committed to people-centered design. Early areas of exploration include smart transit and smart payments.