Cities and Urbanization

Future of cities and local economies at Davos 2024: Key takeaways 

Image: Damien Markutt/Unsplash

Jeff Merritt
Head of Centre for Urban Transformation; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Cities and Urbanization?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Cities and Urbanization is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Cities and Urbanization

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • As talk of AI filled the media, business leaders in private sessions underscored a more nuanced message: we have the technology and expertise needed to change the world today; but are we effectively putting it to use?
  • With cities generating more than 80% of global GDP and hosting the majority of the global population, they will be key to bolstering sustainability, resilience and affordability for growing urban populations.
  • Davos 2024 underscored the critical role of cities in shaping our shared future.

Each year as I return from the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, I am greeted with a predictable flurry of questions, inquiring about key takeaways and insights. The challenge – which I believe is not unique to me and my experience – is that with each passing year, the quantity of takeaways and insights increases almost exponentially.

This is not necessarily a positive thing. Rather, to ensure that these collective insights lead to real action and impact on the ground, discipline and focus are more critical than ever.

Discover

How is the World Economic Forum supporting the development of cities and communities globally?

Old tech, new impact

As talk of the power and risk of AI filled the media and billboards on the Promenade in Davos, business leaders in private sessions underscored a more nuanced message: we have the technology and expertise needed to change the world today; but are we effectively putting it to use?

Fewer coalitions, more alliances

Nearly 3,000 leaders from government, business and civil society from more than 125 countries, including 350 heads of state and government, and ministers, participated in this year’s Annual Meeting, spurring new commitments towards collective action. Convenings in Davos also highlighted the increased need to build bridges across siloed efforts and communities.

Think locally, act globally

Amid rising geopolitical tensions, cities and local communities have become a vital proving ground for public-private collaboration and essential means for scaling impact. In parallel, cities across the globe are actively reinventing and redefining themselves to capitalize on new opportunities associated with increased office occupancy, leisure travel, and retail spending.

  • Deloitte, UpLink and the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Urban Transformation announced plans to scale the ”Yes SF” model of place-based innovation challenges, building on efforts underway in San Francisco while also bringing this model to new cities across the globe.
  • Mastercard teamed up with the World Economic Forum to launch a new global competition for cities, bringing together public and private sector leaders to explore how the activation of communities after dark can help address pressing urban challenges and bolster local economies.
  • The Alliance for Urban Innovation announced the opening of applications for its first cohort of pioneer cities that will be working with World Economic Forum partners and world-leading innovators to advance more sustainable communities while also helping to bolster the resiliency of local economies.

To learn more about these efforts and how you can contribute, visit http://www.weforum.org/cities.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Cities and UrbanizationDavos Agenda
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

How Lisbon and other world cities are tackling the affordable housing crisis

Carlos Moedas

February 15, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum