As citizens, we want cities to provide swift, effective and affordable solutions to our problems.

Most city officials want these same advantages. But officials often operate in an environment that can discourage innovation and new ideas. As a result, it is difficult for them to avoid the same tired solutions offered from the same handful of vendors.

Collectively, that means we have over 4,5 trillion dollars in annual spending that we know could be used more effectively on better solutions. If we put even a fraction of that spending to use in creating cities that are more responsive, more efficient, and more nimble at solving problems for their citizens, then we will make an enormous impact in people’s lives. 

This is why we founded Citymart. Our idea is simple – what if in public procurement, cities published their problems through open challenges instead of specifying the solutions? By using a proven combination of capacity building, research and outreach, we help cities use their existing resources better and by making government more transparent, we improve city life for everyone.

Citymart has successfully shown the power method by completing more than 100 open challenges, or technically speaking ‘problem-based procurements’, with over 50 global cities and outstanding results going beyond our initial expectations.

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10X   *

more solutions presented by providers 

by opening up to new approaches and structured market engagement 



Sourced from cities reporting how many previously unknown solutions they discovered in the Citymart challenge process. Example: In 2010, Copenhagen (a city globally leading on bicycle innovation) knew of 4 of the 37 solutions submitted to the Citymart Future Bike challenge. This means that the city knew one tenth of available solutions to their challenge.


80%   **

cost saving 

by increased competition, finding new approaches or avoiding re-invention



Citymart calculates this average based on the results of 100 challenges run to date and results reported by cities. It is a composite, based on statistical occurrence, of three primary factors that affect cost; cost savings here include direct additional revenue. Firstly, Citymart effectively eliminates the cost of re-invention, which typically is a saving of over 95%. Secondly, results have shown that finding new approaches can deliver transformative savings of over 98%. Thirdly, according to the Citymart impact model developed by McKinsey & Co, increasing competition by having more vendors brings down cost by an estimated 10%.


98%   ***

contracts won by SMEs, start-ups and social entrepreneurs 

by better risk management, understandable and simpler processes



Out of the 100 challenges run by Citymart with 57 cities between 2011 and 2015, 98 were won by SMEs, 2 by corporations.


When San Francisco wanted new streetlights, Citymart helped the City find a company that designed lights that are cheaper, follow open standards, are more environmentally sound, manage urban data, and can be remotely controlled.  

San Francisco's existing streetlights were costly to maintain, used too much energy, and had to be controlled manually. Citymart worked with the City to find a company that designed “smart lights” that are cheaper, follow commonly-accepted standards, are more environmentally sound, manage urban data, and can be remotely controlled. The process itself changed the entire trajectory of the urban lighting, network and city policy in San Francisco, providing benefits and cost savings across departments.