Cities drive the economic performance of nations and the pace of development around the world. Magnets for people, business, and hubs for innovation, cities are home to more than half the world’s population now and will be home to two-thirds of the world’s population by 2050. The world’s most pressing problems—including inadequate and overburdened housing and infrastructure systems, increasing demand for food, water, and energy, escalating vulnerability to environmental and health threats—increasingly require creative and inclusive urban solutions.

Dalberg believes that developing cities need interdisciplinary solutions. Cities present urgent and complex needs but are also the most dynamic environments in which to address them. At Dalberg, we believe making cities work for everyone will require that cities learn and evolve. We work with diverse urban actors to help cities define purposeful goals and plans, identify challenges, collaborate through global networks and partnerships, experiment with potential solutions, and adapt to change continuously.


Our Expertise:

We bring skills and tools across geographies and sectors to support inclusive and resilient urban growth.

  • Strategy, planning, & design. We help cities and urban actors define both long-term visions and near-term plans for inclusive and resilient urban growth. We map market dynamics, underlying barriers, and opportunities to design programs and incentives that transform local markets.
  • Analysis & experimentation. We work alongside clients and partners to identify and prioritize new customer segments and innovative solutions that promote shared prosperity. We bring an arsenal of rigorous analytical techniques, including competitive product space analysis, systems analysis, capital advisory and financial analysis, network and asset mapping, and human-centered design.
  • Evaluation & partnership-building. We assess the efficiency and effectiveness of existing programs and initiatives in order to identify strategic opportunities to enact lasting, positive change. We engage with initiatives at all stages of their development, often facilitating and developing knowledge-sharing partnerships and networks with experts and leaders of global cities.

Client Success:

Smart Maps for Smart Cities Urban India’s $8 Billion+ Opportunity 

India will see the greatest migration to cities of any country in the world over the next 35 years, with over 400 million new inhabitants flooding into urban areas. Digital maps hold particular promise to help achieve the government of India’s ambitions around Smart Cities.

Our team started with a big, strategic question: What is the social and economic value of digital maps to India’s urban end-users: citizens, businesses, and government?

Our Approach

In order to meaningfully quantify the benefits of digital maps to end-users, Dalberg team identified nine case studies that demonstrated a variety of human stories behind improved maps. Examples included: an ambulance reaching a patient and transporting him to the hospital a few minutes faster, a commuter shaving time off her travel by more intelligently navigating traffic, a local government deploying resources more effectively after a natural disaster due to more precise location information, and more. To demonstrate the potential macroeconomic value of these case studies to Indian economy and society, we estimated the numeric impact of these micro-improvements across India’s urban population.


Dalberg found that smarter maps – more accurate, up-to date, usable maps – can help India gain upwards of USD $8 billion, save 13,000 lives, and reduce 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year, in cities alone. In association with the Confederation of Indian Industry and Google, we released a report titled “Smart Maps for Smart Cities” that outlined our findings. And we have reason to believe that the broader economic and social benefits of Smart Maps for citizens, businesses, and the government are likely many times greater.

To learn more about our Cities work, see our insights or contact:

Oren Ahoobim

Jordan Fabyanske