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Governing Smart Cities

Use Cases for Urban Transformation

Mexico City, Tsukuba, and Istanbul are using model policies and technology governance to transform into smart cities—supported by the collaboration of World Economic Forum’s G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance and Deloitte.

Cities are using data and technology at an accelerated rate to build resilience in the face of global systemic problems like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.1 While the cities continue to digitally transform their public services and evolve into smart cities; they are lagging in the governance foundations to safeguard residents against the possible privacy, equity, accessibility and cybersecurity risks.

There is a growing need for support in implementing global technology governance policies. The World Economic Forum's G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance has been collaborating with cities at the global and regional levels to enhance their smart city governance protocols in response to the increasing demand for assistance in putting global technology governance regulations into practice. In order to facilitate the adoption of model governance policies at the local city level, Deloitte and the Global Smart Cities Alliance has worked together to develop and run regional networks in Japan, Latin America, India and South-East Asia during the last two years.

In this report, we profile three pilot programs from smart cities supported by The Alliance to tackle three different policy challenges; and to change their technology governance in a way that positively impacts peoples' safety and well-being.

  • Mexico City, Mexico: Tackling crime through open data
  • Tsukuba, Japan: Putting residents’ privacy first
  • Istanbul, Turkey: Ensuring digital technologies are accessible for everyone

The position paper presents their policy transformations, discusses the difficulties encountered during the implementation of these policies, and some essential lessons gleaned from the experience. This paper seeks to inspire urban and industry leaders to take additional steps in adopting the policies necessary for the responsible and ethical integration of digital technologies. These policies could be regarded as fundamental global standards that every city should look to implement as they evolve smartly.

This executive summary is based on the World Economic Forum report Governing Smart Cities: Use Cases for Urban Transformation, which profiles pilot governance and policy programmes for responsible and ethical technology adoption in Mexico City, Tsukuba and Istanbul.


  1. Ixchell Gutierrez, Haruka Hamara, Yuki Haramoto, Yuta Hirayama, Alfredo Molina Ledesma, Jane Setiani Tjahjono, Ekta Sharma, Governing Smart Cities: Use Cases for Urban Transformation, November 2023, p. 6.



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