Smart cities are emerging as major engines for deploying intelligent systems to enhance urban development and contribute to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). In developing economies facing rapid urbanization and technological change, new cities are being built with smart technologies and ideals, complete with business districts and residential, retail, entertainment, medical, education facilities to entice businesses and talents to relocate. Governments tout the potential of such “greenfield” smart cities for innovation and sustainability. Yet such urban megaprojects are often extremely expensive, prompting governments to partner with private players such as property developers, investors, and tech firms to share the cost, and supply infrastructure and technologies.

Publication Date

Summer 2021

Notes/Citation Information

Published as HKUST IEMS Thought Leadership Brief no. 56.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Institute for Emerging Market Studies has granted the permission for posting the brief here.

Funding Information

This research project was partly funded by the Strategic Public Policy Research Funding Scheme from the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, China (Project Number: S2016.A7.003), and partly by the HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies with support from EY (Project Number: IEMS19RG01).