Harnessing knowledge sharing to fuel economic growth and smart city development

Interconnected infrastructure and technologies in a smart city

The success and sustainability of smart cities hinges on effective knowledge sharing. These cities, known for their technological innovation, serve as models for the future of urban living, greatly improving the quality of life for residents.

Knowledge transfer, which entails the exchange of skills, ideas and expertise, is fundamental to the growth of smart cities. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders, knowledge sharing contributes significantly to innovation and promotes a sustainable urban lifestyle.

Studies suggest that knowledge sharing can enhance productivity in workplaces by 10-30 percent, consequently boosting the delivery of urban services. Similarly, dissemination of information at the city level regarding development initiatives, urban planning strategies and innovative solutions creates a flourishing environment for the development of smart cities.

But the benefits of knowledge sharing extend beyond improved productivity. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that by 2025, the utilisation of collaborative technologies and knowledge-sharing platforms will reduce traffic congestion by 20% and decrease carbon emissions by 15%.

As urbanisation continues to grow, these projections illustrate the potential positive impact of knowledge sharing on urban landscapes and the role it can play in shaping smart cities.

Promoting innovation and collaboration

Knowledge sharing serves as a catalyst for creative solutions to urban challenges. It enables the swift adoption of cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, thereby optimising urban services.

It also plays a key role in urban governance, providing local government agencies with valuable insights and best practices to make informed decisions and adopt sustainable practices. Using knowledge gleaned from successful cases in other cities allows governments to allocate resources more effectively to boost citizen satisfaction.

Knowledge sharing can as well promote active citizen engagement by regularly disseminating information about urban projects, smart services and other sustainable practices. This transparency fosters trust and encourages cooperation between residents and local government, nurturing a communal sense of ownership and a shared vision for the city’s development.

Addressing citizen issues, including the digital divide, should be a priority. By promoting digital literacy and sharing knowledge on relevant initiatives, smart cities can ensure equal access for all residents, fostering social equity and enabling participation in the digital economy.

Promotion of economic growth can be greatly supported by the exchange of business opportunities, investment ideas and market insights. As smart cities focus on knowledge sharing, they can morph into vibrant entrepreneurship hubs, generating employment opportunities and boosting the overall economy.

To integrate knowledge sharing into their development strategies, cities can:

  1. Build Collaborative Networks: Establish spaces such as innovation hubs, research facilities and technological clusters for stakeholders to interact and share ideas. In our Euromed Clusters Forward (ECF) project in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, LI and its partners work on enhancing the cooperation between business clusters of these countries.
  2. Encourage Open Data Sharing: Promote open data sharing to support cities in research and innovation, allowing researchers, business owners and residents to develop data-driven solutions. Check out our Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) in Palestine.
  3. Foster Public-Private Partnerships: Partner with the private sector to harness the expertise of its talent, resources and technologies for expediting urban development. Learn about out Idea Bank project in Jordan, where the entrepreneurial community offered their innovative solutions to three ministries facing multiple development challenges.
  4. Promote Knowledge Exchange Programs: orchestrate conferences and seminars that bring together experts, practitioners and policymakers from various cities to exchange best practices and lessons learnt. In our Euro Mediterranean project RESET, we utilise knowledge sharing to capitalise on the outcomes of previous projects and facilitate the transition to a green economy in Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia.
  5. Invest in Digital Infrastructure: Develop data centres, high-speed internet connectivity and intelligent technologies to enable effective knowledge transfer.

Knowledge sharing is an invaluable tool for building sustainable smart cities. By combining innovation, technology and knowledge sharing, these cities can create intelligent, inclusive and sustainable environments that redefine urban living for future generations.