Mastercard launches urban-development insights tool for cities

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Mastercard is now offering a data-analytics tool it developed in the cities of Dublin, Chicago, London and Helsinki to its full network of more than 40 member cities, the company announced this week.

The expansion of the tool, called City Insights, was unveiled Tuesday at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Initially piloted in a handful of cities, including in Dublin where it was used to assess how events and extreme weather could affect the local retail industry, Mastercard’s tool is advertised as a way for cities to gain timely insights into how their cities function.

“For too long, we have been dependent on outdated information and anecdotal evidence to make critical decisions,” Jamie Cudden, Dublin’s smart cities lead, said in a statement. “[City Possible] has allowed us to move to an evidence-based approach to urban development. This will help our city go farther, faster and ultimately do more to support the communities we serve.”

The tool contains anonymized spending data paired with geospatial locations within a city. Based on the pilots in Dublin, Helsinki and London, users will be able to assess the economic impact of planned or unplanned events on their local economies, according to a press release from Mastercard.

Users can potentially use the tool to respond to and recover from natural disasters, make more data-driven decisions and find areas a city might need the private sector’s help.

Once members have the tool in hand, said Miguel Gamiño, Mastercard’s executive vice president of Global Cities, he expects users will suggest new ideas and data the map could provide. From there, City Possible plans to help its members work with other companies to develop customized versions of the tool.

“This is just the beginning,” Gamiño said during a panel at the Smart City Expo World Congress on Tuesday. “We launched this program in its current form right here on this stage a year ago. [Since then] we’ve used data and city insights to better express the impacts of decisions.”

Mastercard also announced the addition of 14 new cities to its network, bringing the total number of cities above 40. The new American members include Augusta, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; Seat Pleasant, Maryland; and Spokane, Washington.

Editor’s Note: The travel expenses for StateScoop to provide news coverage of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, were paid for by Mastercard.

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CityPossible, MasterCard, Miguel Gamino, Smart City Expo World Congress, Smart City Expo World Congress 2019
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