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Cities of the Future

It’s hard to separate the future of the world from the future of cities. Cities account for more than half of the world’s population and about 80% of global GDP. BCG partners with governments and businesses to ensure that cities are designed to thrive—now and in the future.

Before COVID-19, trends in urbanization, climate change, and technology were shaping an increasingly complex landscape for cities around the world. The pandemic has accelerated preexisting trends and brought new ones to life. These trends have the potential to shape even better, more livable cities of the future; for example, by creating hyperlocal environments on the basis of mixed-use real estate, changing mobility habits, accelerating digital-first services, and spurring the move to sustainable living and resilient infrastructure.

Public and business leaders need to work together to rethink city development in light of these new trends, shifting their focus from improving systems to improving residents’ experiences.

Cities of the Future Will Be Resident Centric

Resident centricity will define cities of the future. This perspective puts the expectations and needs of people at the fore and guides strategy and master planning, community management, and the design of services. Residents’ positive experiences also help build resilience in the face of challenges—such as the COVID-19 pandemic—while driving advocacy and enhancing cities’ competitiveness.

Our expertise is based on an innovative, resident-centric approach that we’ve used to help city clients around the world. While residents remain at the core of our strategy and problem solving, our team is equipped to deliver a variety of solutions—such as planning for smart cities of the future—across governments, businesses, and institutions.

Featured Client Work

Examples of our cities-of-the-future consulting expertise include the following:

Meet BCG’s Future of Cities Leaders

BCG’s Suite of Resources for Cities

The Global Center for the Future of Cities is the starting point for our robust city consulting practice. In the course of our cities-of-the-future consulting work, we tap the expertise of BCG’s specialty businesses:


Centre for Public Impact

This BCG not-for-profit entity works with governments, public servants, and other change makers to reimagine government. We turn ideas into action so that government works for everyone.

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BCG Digital Ventures

This corporate investment and incubation specialty business helps companies and smart cities to invent, launch, scale, and invest in startups. Our clients with a stake in the future of cities learn how to remain relevant in the age of new technology by acting like venture capitalists.



BCG Gamma’s data scientists partner with BCG consultants to help clients develop AI-powered solutions and machine-learning algorithms that our clients own and integrate into their unique technology stacks. In particular, they analyze cities’ value propositions to their residents and visitors, compare them with the cities’ competitors, and derive the satisfaction or advocacy indicators instrumental to future prosperity.


BCG Platinion

Organizations with a stake in technology and the future of cities collaborate with BCG Platinion to perfect the tech side of transformation. We assist with IT architecture design, digital transformation, risk management services, cybersecurity, and implementation management.

Featured Insights

City of Choice - Rectangle

Cities of Choice

Rapid urbanization, increased mobility, and growing expectations have all created a need for city administrations to shift focus from infrastructure to their residents. BCG’s new comprehensive tool allows cities to assess their ability to make an effective change.

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