Funding and financing strategies for smart cities

Creative alternatives for funding tomorrow’s ecosystems

Smart cities require infrastructure modernisation—a high price-tag proposition that can be daunting for any city. See how innovative financing strategies are helping cities around the world transform vision into reality.

Explore our series on funding and financing smart cities

The Deloitte Global series on funding and financing smart cities offers research and guiding principles for creative alternatives to traditional infrastructure financing models, based on the experiences of government officials, industry leaders and our own professionals who have actively facilitated smart cities funding for clients.

Smart cities are a new concept with new technologies. Attracting investors requires a comprehensive strategic plan that clearly communicates the opportunity and presents a robust business model, a creative approach to funding and financing—new sources of income, new business models for recovery and value capture—and innovative financing structures for investors.

We recommend that you explore our series starting with "The challenge of paying for smart cities" followed by articles of particular interest to you.

This series offers research-based guidance on funding and procurement options with valuable insights from smart cities projects worldwide. 

Latest release: The virtues of value capture 

As a result of increased urbanisation, a greater focus on sustainability, and tighter public budgets around the world, governments need to take advantage of every possible opportunity to capture value. An infrastructure investment can generate value directly and indirectly. When planned from the outset of a project, Government can define mechanisms to capture a portion of this value to help fund and finance the specific project or future expenditures.

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For private sector and institutional investors, developing economies present significant challenges, including political, regulatory, macroeconomic, business and technical risks. International development organisations (IDOs)—multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, bilateral donors—can offer developing economies critical support and risk mitigation through low-interest loans, equity investments, credit guarantees, and technical assistance.

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Many cities are exploring ways to upgrade infrastructure with smart technologies, but paying for these projects presents a significant challenge: Introducing smart technologies on a wide-scale basis. Read more about ways to increase the odds of success on large-scale smart cities projects by exploring the full range of options for funding, financing and procurement.

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The alliance approach is a creative financing model based on forming partnerships, procuring products and services, and providing governance to realize the promise of smart cities. The model enables governments to develop new partnership ecosystems and conduct flexible procurements, allowing municipalities to quickly test and deploy smart cities solutions first and then scale up solutions that provide real benefits.

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This article examines creative ways municipalities are using private and non-profit participation to advance their smart cities agendas. We also distill lessons learned to help other cash-strapped cities overcome funding and financing barriers and move forward on smart cities projects.

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Cities ready for major infrastructure reinvestment and modernization can embrace smart cities to become more secure, safe, resilient and globally competitive. By championing smart cities, government finance officers can play a key role in urban reinvestment and modernisation, using fiscal policy, public-private partnership, and performance-based revenue models to enable the transformation to smart cities.

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Check out our external Smart City | Smart Nation microsite to explore trends, case studies, client stories and Deloitte through leadership publications. Contact us for more information.

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