The Future Is Coming, Are Our Cities Ready?


Pricewaterhouse Coopers have published a study analysing the “readiness” of major international cities to implement new technologies: The Future is Coming: Cities' Readiness Index.

City readiness was assessed across several parameters:

  • Technology readiness (presence of basic infrastructure)
  • The strategies and regulations that support the adoption and use of new infrastructure
  • The availability of finished prototypes
  • The social readiness of citizens to use new technologies.

  • Singapore (62%)
  • London (59%)
  • Shanghai (55%)
  • New York (53%)
  • Moscow (53%).

Subhash Patil, Partner and the Head of the Government and Public Sector Consulting Services team in western India, PwC in India, said cities occupy only 2% of the landmass but house more than 55% of global population, and contribute to 60% of global energy consumption, 70% of waste and 70% emission of green house gases.

“Clearly, cities need to innovate solutions which will drive human civilisation to a sustainable future - one which meets and exceeds climate change goals established at Paris in 2016.

PwC's Cities Readiness Index tells us about what is done right in which global city and gives us benchmarks on core health parameters of a city. I am happy to mention that many countries in the world ... are giving due attention to make cities smarter, liveable, and this report will help us learn about global benchmarks which can be adopted by cities across the world.”


The survey showed that less than half the population in the surveyed cities, excluding Shanghai (76%) and Hong Kong (53%), were ready to embrace new technologies in their daily life.

London (42%) and Toronto (41%) turned out to be the most conservative.

The leaders in culture and tourism digitalisation projects were Barcelona (78%), Shanghai (78%) and Singapore (72%), as these cities have demonstrated the largest number of relevant cases.

London (72%) was the top performer in autonomous transportation, having designed and launched an unmanned transportation strategy and built a regulatory framework for testing.

Singapore (75%) ranked first for the digital economy, due to its well-balanced development of critical infrastructure.

The index said Singapore was one the few cities that not only supported the adoption of adaptive software in schools, but also invested in the development of adaptive learning technologies.

Moscow (64%) was the leader in providing virtual services for citizen engagement - including those designed to crowdsource ideas and address problems for urban projects.

Sydney came second with 58%, as it has offered online voting opportunities on general urban matters and in elections for the last six years.

London (63%) and Singapore (61%) were the most successful examples of virtual cities and outpace the others in terms of using new construction technologies - they have run numerous experiments on modular construction and 3D printing of houses.

London (77%) was the leader among cities whose infrastructure is ready for the future, followed by Barcelona (74%) and Moscow (76%) due to their data analytics projects.

The majority of the surveyed cities have worked together with businesses and residents to design new infrastructure solutions. In New York, a significant portion of the local solutions on predictive analytics have been developed by non-profit organisations and independent groups of researchers.

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