HomeChannelsNewsMastercard doubles smart cities club, with new joiners from US, Brazil, Australia

Mastercard doubles smart cities club, with new joiners from US, Brazil, Australia

Mastercard has more than doubled the intake of smart cities to its City Possible programme, convened at the end of last year to foster public-private collaboration in the smart cities space.

The initiative now has more than 40 members, it said at Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, today (November 19), where it confirmed the addition of 14 cities (or urban centres). The programme was started last November with 16 member cities. 

Speaking at the Barcelona event, Miguel Gamiño (pictured, centre), executive vice president enterprise partnerships and head of global cities at Mastercard, said the smart cities market has shifted its focus from trials of technology, to trials of how technology plays with citizens.

Gamiño, formerly chief technology officer with New York City, said: “I’ve watched conversations evolve, from a technology focused view on how to improve cities, to shift to look at the people in the cities. And all the stuff here [in Barcelona], and all the stuff at Mastercard is about how [the technology] is landing on people – how are we mobilising assets, talents, resources to improve life for people in city.

“We are taking that head on – gathering people together to hear what [technology] will impact their lives positively. This is the circle of opportunity for everyone to walk through.”

Gamiño said Mastercard has, in fact, assembled a “community of cities” that numbered almost 60. But Mastercard, itself, confirmed 40, along with new members from the technology side.

New joiners include five from the US. These are: Augusta, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; Seat Pleasant, Maryland; and Spokane, Washington. Another five have signed up from Brazil. These are Juazeiro do Notre in the state of Ceará, Madre De deus in Bahia, Novo Hamburgo and Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul, and Santo André in São Paulo.

The Australian ‘cities’ of Casey in Victoria, Georges River in New South Wales, and Logan in Queensland have joined, as has Wellington in New Zealand.

It has also confirmed analytics firms Amadeus, DeepLabs, Silicon Harlem and ZenCity have joined the programme. Existing technology partners include HERE Technologies, IDEMIA, Willis Towers Watson, EVERFI and AT&T.

City Possible is seeking to streamline public transportation services, and increase access to city services. Harvard TECH, the Massachusetts university’s tech centre, is also involved in the initiative. 

Gamiño said: “Cities share similar issues – above all building strong local economies and prosperity for everyone, everywhere in their cities. By bringing city leaders together to surface shared challenges and connect them to the insights and solutions of academics, businesses and NGOs, City Possible is pioneering a path to making cities more inclusive and sustainable, drawing on the collective expertise and resources of all stakeholders.”

Mastercard has developed a data analytics tools for cities called City Insights, piloted in Dublin, London and Helsinki, and available to all members of the City Possible club, to help cities assess the impact of planned or unplanned events on their local economy.

Jamie Cudden, smart city lead for Dublin City Council, commented: “For too long, we have been dependent on outdated information and anecdotal evidence to make critical decisions. The collaboration with City Possible by Mastercard has allowed us to move to an evidence-based approach to urban development. This will help our city go farther, faster, and ultimately do more to support the communities we serve.”

Mastercard has also launched a digital access tool, called City Key, for citizens in Honolulu. City Key allows residents to access to city services and payment functionalities via a digital tool. It is designed to provide be convenient and secure for citizens, and drive efficiencies for governments.

Mastercard said it is providing transit solutions to over 200 cities. It has a new partnership with mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform Kisio that integrates with local transit authorities.

(Image: 123rf)
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