Why cities open problems and share solutions

Together with our partner cities we promote the vision of cities sharing solutions. It seems obvious, but today even the most successful solutions such as public bicycle systems scale at a pace that reached just 0,1% of communities in over 10 years. Over the past 3,5 years we have learned much about the barriers, but have also found some solutions to overcome them. So, when we talk about cities becoming more open, agile and empathic it is because they fundamentally do two things: open their problems and share solutions.

When you imagine this model applied to 557,000 communities and 10% of world GDP, it would be an incredibly active marketplace. We remain far from it, but after running more than 90 challenges with global cities we are, ourselves, impressed to see just how actively cities collaborate to solve their problems.

And in many ways, this is just a beginning. Increasingly, as at our recent Cities Summit hosted together with the Mayor of London, cities are making much bolder commitments to open problems and share not just solutions, but the methods that will transform their procurement.

Cities sharing solutions - who is trading?

Inspired by articles by The Economist and Paul Romer and Brandon Fuller, we at Citymart.com have for the first time visualized the city-to-city trade of solutions through 82 challenges run through our programs. Destination cities are those seeking solutions through challenges, whilst origin cities are the home of the companies or organizations providing the winning solution. Solutions by companies originating in Paris fared the best, followed by successes of solutions originating in Barcelona, Stockholm, San Francisco and New York City. If rated by countries, the US leads the table as a provider of winning solutions, followed by Spain, the UK and France.

What data are you interested in? Let's see if we can share it.

Cities sharing solutions through Citymart.com (2010-13)