Strategies for cities of the future

The concept of smart cities enables metropolitan regions to attain sustainable and socially inclusive development while remaining competitive. adelphi develops strategies on how the concept could be applied in developing and transition countries.


Urbanisation is unstoppable: Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities; forecasts predict this number to increase to over 75 per cent by 2050. Therefore, cities are key actors for addressing the challenges of the 21st century related to climate change and diminishing resources. Megacities such as Dhaka in Bangladesh or Nairobi in Kenya already struggle permanently to cope with overstrained energy networks, infrastructure, and traffic. The smart city concept could provide a solution to the dilemma by implying environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive urban development which systematically and intelligently combines information and communication technologies (ICT) with transportation systems, energy infrastructure, and public service delivery.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has tasked adelphi to develop strategic options for the smart cities concept to be implemented by German development organisations in partner countries. Since no common definition of the concept exists to date, adelphi will compile a comprehensive overview of the international debate, key concepts and technological trends, as well as interview relevant stakeholders. Preliminary findings will be presented at the Asien-Pazifik-Wochen (APW) from 5 to 14 June 2013 in Berlin.