2Q 2021

Analyst Insight: Trends in Smart City Project Funding

Funding is the single most important factor determining smart city progress with constraints on local government spending remaining the primary barrier to the scaling of projects. However, despite ongoing financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are positive developments regarding national government stimulus funding, new approaches to financing, and a drive by city leaders to invest in post-pandemic recovery programs.

Guidehouse Insights tracks three broad categories of funding: public, private, and public-private partnerships (PPPs). Public funding accounts for roughly 60% of these smart city projects, whether wholly from municipal funds or assisted by regional or national investments. However, cities are limited in their ability to fund new investment, particularly for technology-heavy projects. PPPs are seen as the most attractive way to bridge this funding gap but also come with challenges of protecting data and government autonomy. Private funding drives a small proportion of smart city projects, typically seen in greenfield developments or large-scale regeneration projects. This type of funding remains a small if often very visible part of the market.

This Guidehouse Insights report focuses on historical and anticipated smart city funding trends as well as factors that might affect funding in the future. Drawing on data from Guidehouse Insights’ Smart Cities Tracker, this report considers 619 tracked smart city projects from 2010 to 2020. Discussion on this data includes regional market drivers, barriers, and emerging opportunities.

Pages 13
Tables | Charts | Figures 7
  • How are funding models driving development trends across global regions?
  • In what regions are certain funding models most common?
  • How have different funding models grown in usage over time?
  • What types of smart city projects are funded by varying financial models?
  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected smart city funding?
  • How will government stimulus measures affect smart city development?
  • Smart transportation providers 
  • Networking and telecommunications vendors
  • Utilities
  • Urban sensor vendors
  • Silicon chip and computer components vendors
  • Banking and financial professionals
  • Policy professionals
  • Investor community



Executive Summary

Tracked Global Smart City Projects

Public Funding Trends

Public-Private Partnership Trends

Private Funding Trends

Market Inflection Trends

Market Drivers and Barriers

Recommendations, Resources, and Contact

  • Cumulative Smart City Projects by Region, World Markets: 2011-2020
  • Cumulative Smart City Projects by Funding Strategy, World Markets: 2011-2020
  • Publicly Funded Projects Tracked by Focus, World Markets: 2010-2020
  • PPPs Tracked by Focus, World Markets: 2010-2020
  • Privately Funded Projects Tracked by Focus, World Markets: 2011-2020
  • Smart City Development Industry Growth Potential, World Markets: 2021-2030
  • Market Drivers and Barriers
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