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CSIS Series: Smart Cities As Innovation Hubs

Global megatrends require a step-change in the way we design, construct and operate structures and systems that will benefit society for the long term. Growing urbanization and extreme weather patterns are making cities more vulnerable to loss of electricity and energy infrastructure. Many of the world’s largest urban areas are becoming ‘mega cities’ with populations of more than 5 million people. 

The potential scale of disruption caused by energy system failures is compounded by the growing scale of the energy systems required to support these new mega cities. With the growth of mega cities and urbanization, city planners are well placed to consider how to future proof urban energy systems.

Future-proofing systems requires a new and smarter approach to protecting the overall city and its systems. Information is currency in the modern, smart city—city planners are increasingly using advanced computer modelling to be able to rapidly analyze complex urban systems, capture information, and accelerate decision-making.

New technologies offer part of the solution e.g. predictive tools to anticipate weather patterns, advanced metering to pinpoint outages in real time etc. Quality of infrastructure is also increasingly important—needs to be durable for multiple decades. Bechtel is a charter member of the Smart Cities Council, a for-profit, partner-led association for the advancement of the smart city business sector.

About the CSIS Series


​This event is part of the CSIS Global Sustainability Speaker Series, which investigates the role of the private sector in engaging with the U.S. government, host governments, and NGOs to help address some of the world’s most complex global sustainable development issues.

Keep the conversation going


Bechtel is partnering with Devex to explore strategies for deploying sustainable resilient infrastructure to help advance global development.

Join the conversation using #build100.

As a lead partner of the Smart Cities Council, Bechtel is pleased to have contributed to the Smart Cities Readiness Guide initiative based on our expertise in understanding how to bring complex, large-scale visions to reality.