In 2007, for the first time in human history, more people lived in urban areas than rural ones. Fast forward to today and growing urbanization patterns show few signs of abating. An estimated 3 million people move to cities every week. By 2050, city dwellers are expected to outnumber their rural counterparts by a ratio of 2:1.
Saddled with legacy infrastructure and limited budgets, many urban areas are struggling to keep pace with such rapid growth. The result is increased congestion, reduced quality of life, lost economic potential, and negative health outcomes.
Cities around the world are increasingly looking to implement initiatives that respond to these challenges. But limited funds constrain progress. Just 16 percent of cities are able to self-fund required infrastructure projects. As a result, cities are enlisting the support of private and non-profit partners to advance their smart city agendas.
Public agencies and municipalities are increasingly using private and non-profit sector participation to overcome their own funding and financing barriers to advance their smart city agendas. These Public-Private Partnerships offer great opportunities for investors with financial and social impact goals.