The growing trend of investments directed at sustainability and low-carbon focused businesses, further increased by the Paris accord, enables private sector companies to take a more ambitiously scaled role in helping to transform the world’s urban areas. While city governments and local legislators lead the way in undertaking systemic transformations, they, nonetheless, face challenges in gathering together funding or sufficiently large coalitions of private sector companies to realize these ambitious plans. Here the flexibility and boldness of private sector companies serves as a considerable advantage for those companies that succeed in finding a market-ready area for development which also contributes wider, societal benefit.

A recent article at the Meeting of the Minds website profiled the contributions of several private sector players who have managed to realize this promise. As one of the most significant sources of harmful emissions in urban areas, the transportation market offers ample opportunities for private sector problem solvers.

On-demand ride or car sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, are already making a notable impact in reducing the transportation sector’s harmfulness, limiting the amount of private vehicle use and increasing the amount of public transportation use among its customers, as reported in a study published by the American Public Transportation Association. These private sector companies are forging the path for the eventual implementation of wide-scale Mobility as a Service solutions by familiarizing users with shared models of transportation and contributing to the data on mobility patterns necessary to ensure maximal efficiency and interoperability.

Read more on the private sector’s contributions to creating 21st century communities at Meeting of the Minds.

Read the full study on how ride-sharing services are helping to foster hybrid models of mobility.

Read Meeting of the Minds founder and smart city expert Gordon Feller’s insights, including his perspective on collaborative smart city development in a recent talk.

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.