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Welcome To the Century of the City

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ is still true today in what’s been termed the “Century of the City.” Given the scale of growth of (and within) cities, it’s no surprise that turning cities into well-governed, prosperous, and liveable urban environments is a complex process. Cities’ impact on the world around us cannot be underestimated. According to McKinsey, by 2025, 600 cities will be responsible for creating 65% of global GDP growth.

Against this backdrop of urbanization, transformation, innovation, and sustainability, SAP is enabling cities to empower, educate, care for, transport, inspire, and improve the quality of life of each and every citizen. It’s what we call ‘Urban Matters’ — a unique set of solutions that can help city officials, businesses, and citizens to make positive urban change happen.

Urban Matters

Through working with many national, regional, and urban authorities, we’ve helped vastly different cities to face diverse challenges – and profoundly change the way they address them. In the next eight weeks, we’ll be exploring many of the themes that are relevant to this journey, concluding with a set of ‘top tips’ for best-run cities.

Why is Urban Matters such an important topic?  First, SAP knows how to use technology to help businesses grow. Secondly, we have 20 years’ experience (having started working with the City of Edmonton, Canada, in 1994) of enabling cities to achieve their goals – helping them deliver the plan that underpins their vision. Finally, we share the same vision of cities as our customers: understanding that citizens are at the heart of changes that will eventually re-shape cities around their needs.

Beyond the smart city

If there’s one thing experience has taught us, it’s to think beyond the technology. Simply flicking the ‘smart-city’ switch doesn’t mean the lights will go on. Instead, making cities more liveable requires a sustainable, multi-level approach – together with an ambitious vision.

New ideas and innovations can offer great potential. So we’ll be covering ways that cities are becoming digitally empowered, using technology to be safer and more resilient, and how they’re using mobility, data and analytics in open and transparent ways. Over the coming weeks, we will focus on the transformation of public services, empowering communities and decision-makers, and enabling citizens to be creative and learn from each other. In addition, we’ll explore the physical ‘fabric’ of the city – from the built environment to infrastructure and urban transport.

Ultimately, Urban Matters is about the collection of activities – unique to every city – that need to work in combination to make a city run better for its citizens. As we go deeper, we’ll be making lots of case studies, videos, white papers and ebooks available to you. So join us for the journey in the Century of the City and visit

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