City Possible Plaza

City Possible Summit: New Possibilities in a Changed Urban World


The COVID-19 pandemic has left permanent marks on urban life. Many of the long-standing challenges cities face have grown more acute over the last year, and the pandemic has introduced new problems that cities have only just begun to address. Additionally, this global brush with existential crisis has crystalized the urgency of addressing other global threats like climate change.

Luckily, these challenges are not going unmet. Innovative strategies, emerging technologies, and creative leaders are busy building the solutions that can help make future cities better.

The City Possible Summit at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2021 unleashed the superpower of collaboration to explore how leaders around the world are approaching challenges new and old and building innovative, sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous cities.

More information about City Possible


At #SCEWC21, the City Possible team showcased a demonstration of a variety of technological solutions, including:
Mastercard City Key™

A resident engagement platform helping cities provide benefit and service access to residents

Mastercard City Insights

A marketplace for data insights apps and services for cities

Mastercard Mobility & Transit

A suite of solutions helping cities advance public and private transportation infrastructure

Take a look at the City Possible Summit program

10:30 – 11:00Cities Surviving and Flourishing 
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many pundits confidently declared that the world’s cities were not long for this earth. The effects of the health crisis on living patterns and urban economies seemed irreversible. However, like in all past crises, cities didn’t die – they changed. How has COVID-19 shaped our relationship with cities, and what does that mean for the future?
11:30 – 12:15The New Mobility Landscape
Adequate mobility options are a crucial component of a thriving urban culture and a vibrant city economy. Plummeting ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many public transport systems toward fiscal crisis. However, new patterns of living and working that have emerged during the pandemic provide an opportunity to change the way we get around cities. How have advancements in technology and evolving customer needs changed the way cities and transportation players think about the future of urban mobility?
14:00 – 14:45Equitable Cities for an Inclusive World
The COVID-19 pandemic did not affect all of society equally. In many cities around the world, the disparities in outcomes between income and ethnic groups highlighted the long-standing divides in urban society. As global recognition of the problems rose, so too did promises of a new, more equitable future. How can cities properly assess what needs to be done to eliminate long-standing inequities, and what roles do different sectors of society play?
15:15 – 16:00Small Businesses Powering Local Recoveries
Small businesses are the economic backbone of cities around the world. Many faced down ruin as the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe. Short-term strategies staved off disaster in some places, but far too many lost their businesses and are struggling to start again. How do we support small businesses in our cities and use them as vehicles to spark a recovery in pandemic-ravaged economies? What role do emerging technologies play?
16:30 – 17:15Future-proofing Social Infrastructure
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching the most vulnerable in society proved difficult for city leaders. Providing services and government assistance has always been a challenge, and those hardest to reach are often the most in need. However, new innovations are providing pathways to reach society’s most vulnerable and give opportunities to those who seek it. From unbanked households to those who live in informal settlements and work at informal businesses – ensuring vulnerable citizens are properly served makes the entire city a better place to live.
10:00 – 10:45The City Tourism Recovery
COVID-19 related travel restrictions between and within countries and hesitation among would-be travelers hurt the local economies of tourist destinations worldwide, causing a more than 49% drop in travel and tourism GDP. An estimated 61.6 million people globally have lost their jobs in tourism, disproportionately affecting women, young people, and small entrepreneurs. How can we safely bring tourism back in a way that addresses new realities while avoiding the mistakes of the past?
11:15 – 12:00Smart Resilience: Technology for a Disaster-Ready City
For the unprepared city, an extreme event can bring daily life to a halt, put lives in danger and take a heavy toll on local economies. As climate change procures more frequent and more severe weather events, cities must learn how to adapt, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how unprepared many cities were for a major health emergency. How can we leverage the latest technologies and methods to ensure that before, during and after a disaster strikes, our cities continue serving residents?
15:00 – 15:45Meeting the Urban Cybersecurity Challenge
Innovative technology, albeit a critical aspect of urban development, can heighten the level risk due to the increased number of endpoints malicious actors can target. Their interconnected nature blurs the lines between the digital and physical, creating a substantial threat. With the persistent wave of cyberattacks against local governments, cities are facing increased pressure to secure the technologies that permeate everyday life.
16:15 – 17:00Building 24-Hour Cities
A 24-hour globally connected planet means a world of cities that never sleep. Nighttime economies can be just as vibrant as dayside counterparts. Entertainment venues kick into high gear, restaurants serve food long into the evening and city services, from hospital to police departments, continue providing support across the city. As people begin to leave their homes and venture back into the night, how can cities ensure that they are as safe, prosperous and enjoyable as they are during the day?
17:30 – 18:00Partnering for the City of Tomorrow
Over the various sessions of the City Possible summit, we’ve discussed the ways our cities are changing right before our eyes, and explored strategies to build a better urban future. This session will be a forward-looking call to action, taking the lessons we’ve learned over the last year and exploring the more long-term challenges cities face, and laying out potential solutions for building better cities in the future.

Mastercard was also present at the Congress

Thursday, 18 November

Plenary SessionRevitalizing our Cities, Relaunching Local Economies

With: Miguel Gamiño – Executive Vice-President, Head of Global Cities – Mastercard