The new City Possible network is made up of 16 cities across the globe, and is open to more. It's meant to help cities work together to identify common problems and the solutions to them.
Collaborating with Harvard University, Mastercard has announced the launch of a global network of cities called City Possible to help them identify common problems, come up with possible solutions, and then test and implement them.
So far the network has 16 city partners, six of which are in the U.S.: Altamonte Springs, Fla.; Aurora, Ill.; Baltimore; Honolulu; Kansas City, Mo.; and San Diego. Outside the U.S., the network is made up of Athena, Dubai, Dublin, Helsinki, Prague and the Australian communities of Melbourne, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Liverpool and Wollondilly. Mastercard is looking for more cities to join, according to a press release.
The Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University (TECH) will lead a series of programs meant to help the cities exchange ideas and learn from each other. The network will explicitly address technology in local government.
“As urban areas around the world continue to grow, cities face common issues — how to provide a healthy environment, safety, affordability and economic opportunity for their communities,” said David S. Ricketts, a fellow at TECH, in the statement. “Faced with limited resources and competing priorities, city leaders look for solutions that have been tested elsewhere. Through our learning exchanges, we want to equip CIOs and other urban leaders to better navigate this dynamic environment.”
Mastercard recently picked up one such local government CIO to focus on smart city efforts: Miguel Gamiño, who was an IT leader in El Paso, Texas, San Francisco and New York City. Since Mastercard is one of the largest payment handlers in the world, it possesses a wealth of data about spending, travel and economic indicators it thinks can be useful in those efforts.
In the press release, the company highlighted partnerships it has with Microsoft, HERE Technologies and IDEMIA to tackle urban problems.