We descended the trees and effortlessly organized into groups, due to the communal disposition of the human spirit. When the sun disappeared beyond the horizon, it was safer to live together. Agriculture and trade routes allowed settlements to flourish and prosper. Bound by social, practical, and economic desires, what set forth from our nascent cities was a grand momentum to forever innovate, for perpetual progress and connection in the places we inhabit. As society grew, so did its erected walls. Those walls turned into towers, which are now buildings that extend into the sky.
Today, over half of the world’s population lives in a city or urban area. This number will exceed 68% by 2050, according to UN estimates. Cities are architectural triumphs where the vibrancy of life sparks daily. They are pillars of human achievement, and bulwarks to the chaotic natural world. Though too like the natural world, they are places of hardship and inequality. But for the first time, with the advent of incredible new technologies, our cities are becoming unspeakably “smart,” where digital intellect crossed with human compassion helps actualize the world we care to dream. We’re seeing the upswing of momentum; of technology, mobility, and design.
These are the partners taking action, whose initiated projects are enacting real change. Whether it’s integrating sustainable infrastructure, taking savvy approaches to micromobility, or using big data analytics to inform legislative policy for the betterment of all, each partner is doing something bold and unique that is leading us into the land unknown.
As part of the 2019 Momentum Awards, Newsweek is proud to present the Top 100 Smart City Partners.