Transformation and innovation in a city development means different things to different people. There are a wide variety of projects and ideas with varying outcomes that lead to our urbanisation goals. However, stakeholders city-wide all agree that the failure of cities to truly deliver lasting transformation and develop long-term solutions to its urbanisation challenges lies in the lack of adequate funding.
Transformation projects often attract initial grant funding for technology development but then suffer from poor business models and a lack of commercial, sustainable profits to ensure consolidation and expansion. These initiatives often fail, the answer to this problem lying in a robust sustainable financing model.
Cities need to view urban transformation, development, and innovation as a single self-supporting programme. It is not enough to design energy-positive, car-free urban developments from an architectural or technology perspective. The financing should be holistic too, with traditional property development directly funding innovative mobility initiatives and renewable start up programmes. The goal of a self-financing city is to implement a commercial city financing programme, with asset development-backed innovation projects that does not rely on grants.