With Smart City. Just City. IHC Global strives to bring the rising tide of urban data, technology, and efficiency together with the movement to increase inclusiveness and equity in cities. The Smart City. Just City. Initiative will develop and advance a policy framework that uses smart city techniques to attain a just city vision of an equitable, inclusive, and participatory urban reality.  

Cities are becoming “smarter” every day. But in order to succeed and reach their full potential, they need to promote inclusiveness as well.

How to Increase Inclusiveness and Equity in Cities | Judith Hermanson – YouTube
– Date: February 2021

What is a Smart City?

A smart city is a city that responds to common urban challenges through new methods developed by data analysis. A smart city responds to urban challenges by collecting and using data from a combination of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT). Smart city policymakers partner with the technology sector to improve efficiency, management, and governance of city. Technological development in a smart city enables it to revolutionize public functions such as transportation systems, power, water, waste management, and law enforcement.

What is a just city?

A just city promotes a vision committed to justice and more equitable approaches in urban society. It focuses on enhancing access to institutions, services, and infrastructure for all. A just city invests in affordable housing, public services, fair taxes and charges, and good jobs for everyone. The just city engages communities through a broad understanding of public input and ownership of strategies.

What are the main objectives?
Urban and tech experts discuss how to use data to support urban development at an IHC Global roundtable.

Smart City Just City will provide a policy framework that promotes the intentional use of an equity lens when using data and technology-driven solutions. It will test the framework in selected cities through pilot projects at the municipal efforts.

With this initiative, IHC Global will raise awareness of synergies between the Smart City and Just City; bring together Smart City and Just City leaders to share and expand knowledge of how to work together to advance goals; research and advocate for policy solutions that jointly pursue Smart and Just city goals; and design pilot activities at a municipal level. 

What are our goals?
  • Raise awareness of synergies between the Smart City and Just City
  • Bring together Smart City and Just City leaders, proponents, and implementers to share and expand knowledge of how to work together to advance goals
  • Research and advocate for policy solutions that jointly pursue Smart City and Just City goals
  • Design pilot activities at a municipal level
What's the plan?
IHC Global presents “Smart City. Just City.” at WUF9.

The ‘Smart City. Just City.’ initiative will have two phases. In the first phase, five main activities will be undertaken over the course of ten months, with the goal of engaging a wide audience of local governments, civil society groups, and private sector representatives. The findings of the five efforts will be utilized to develop a report that lays out a ‘Smart City, Just City’ policy framework for how cities can utilize smart city techniques to attain a ‘just city’ vision. This report will be presented at a multi-stakeholder convening that will bring together local government representatives, funding organizations, and civil society groups to connect, review and respond to the policy framework, and discuss next steps in implementation.

In the second phase of the project, funding and partnerships will be sought for the development of pilot projects at the municipal level that are grounded in the Smart City Just City policy framework.

Campaign Highlights
  • August 6, 2020: IHC Global Program and Policy Coordinator Natalie Gill presented the keynote address for the United Nations Development Program’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainability webinar “Smart City Training Series: How to Ensure Gender Inclusion for Smart City Services.”
  • July 7, 2020: URBANET featured “Violence Against Women and COVID-19: Can We Learn from the Pandemic?” on the relationship between technology, mobility, and women’s safety through the Smart City Just City lens.
  • February 12, 2020: IHC Global published the policy paper: “Smart Cities with Women in Mind: Changing How We Think and How We Measure Sustainable Development Goal 5.B”
  • February 12, 2020: IHC Global co-hosted a panel  with Development Action Group, South Africa on “The Yin and Yang of Inclusive Cities: Technology and Local Partnerships,” at the World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi.
  • June 13, 2019: Open Global Rights featured: “Bringing Women’s Voices into the Smart City just City Dialogue.” The essay explores how urban planners can use smart city technology to create cities that are more just and safe for all. 
  • May 30, 2019IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson represented IHC Global at the first UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi. At the IHC Global side event, “Smart City. Just City,” Judith moderated and presented the impacts of technology in making cities safer for women.
  • April 26, 2019: IHC Global commissioned and published a paper written by citiesRISE Global Director, Brian English. “Smart City. Just City: Can Smart City Technologies Create More Equity in an Unequal World?” explores the intersection of smart city technology and equitable urban development. 
  • March 29, 2019: IHC Global published the first post of its Smart City. Just City. Blog series. Guest bloggers employ a “gender lens” as they examine how urban equity and smart technology can build inclusive communities that addresses concerns specific to women as well as groups that live on the margins of society. 
  • April 30, 2018: The Journal of Public space released Vol. 3. No. 1 of 2018 that features an article about the mission of “Smart City. Just City.” by IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson. 
  • February 11, 2018: In an exclusive podcast interview, Next City spoke with IHC Global President and CEO about the “Smart City Just City.” initiative. 
  • February 11, 2018: IHC Global officially launched the “Smart City. Just City.” initiative at the ninth World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur on the Next City World Stage. 
  • November 10, 2017: IHC Global and a roundtable of urban and technology experts examined the IHC Global discussion paper: “Mobilizing the Data Revolution to Support Urban Development.” Read it here.