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Empowering cities: the importance of citizen engagement

Digital technology drives engagement

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Improved digital technology helps citizens influence urban development

In 2016, Philips Lighting and the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed over 2,000 citizens and business executives in twelve major cities around the world to assess the progress of cities toward adopting smart technologies. The result is an extensive research report called Empowering cities: The real story on how citizens and businesses are driving smart cities.


Digital technologies, including IT, communications, the Internet of Things, and sensor networks, are working together to create intelligent urban infrastructures. With the data from these systems, cities can gain new insights into services, operations, and city life. How can cities use these digital technologies make engagement most effective?

In the report:

  • What drives citizen engagement and how can it be encouraged?
  • What is the importance of digital technology in gathering data from citizens?
  • Why digital channels are essential to gather citizen feedback
Urban development - reducing crime | Philips Lighting Smart City trends


of citizens are willing to share personal data to help improve emergency services and reduce crime
Digital information - citizen engagement in smart cities


of citizens say that digital information about utility use shared by the government would encourage them to alter consumptions patterns
Business' role in urban environments - smart city initiatives


of citizens believe that the government should be investing more in digital technologies that enable business to play a role in urban environments

How digital technologies are driving urban transformation


The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, asked citizens and city executives in 12 leading cities to complete a short survey about their cities.


With important implications for decision-makers, the EIU report offers rich insight into how:


  • Digital technologies drive urban transformation
  • Crowdsourcing apps and real-time engagement improves city services
  • Private/public partnerships advance smart city initiatives
The Economist Intelligence Unit
Urban transformation


How are cities using citizen feedback to drive urban transformation?


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