Future of Cities

Here is an (ongoing) Inovia blog series about the future of cities.

Blog Series:


Cities are increasingly the economic and social centers of the world, with some major cities having larger populations and economies than some countries. Most of the large scale technology disruption we have seen in the last fifty years has either been below the level of city integration (i.e. silicon, displays, components) or have been pan-city (i.e. the internet, the web, social networks, search, cellular). More recently we have seen technologies directly challenge legacy city systems (i.e. taxi’s), but more often IoT and advanced software is being used to make existing systems more efficient - it has been more additive than disruptive.

At Inovia we believe this is going to change. As digital systems and digital strategies start to fully integrate with physical systems, a great deal of infrastructure (both physical and virtual) is going to be reinvented and truly disrupted. As this trend progresses, the evolution of cities will accelerate, with the time between innovation cycles reducing. This is a great opportunity for cities to become more “people first” (a core value at Inovia), as opposed to simply becoming “smart”. Here are a few ways we’re looking at this evolution:

Many of these innovations will not arise from improvements to existing structures - better full-size cars do not improve congestion or challenge the “car first” culture of many cities; it is unlikely that Facebook focuses on small city-centric social networks and builds a business model not based on ads; entrenched utility interests are unlikely to fully embrace decentralized energy where they lack their traditional control - but will instead emerge from brand new systems. This presents unparalleled opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.