Why we are building Urb
60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030. This is according to a 2013 McKinsey report, How to make a city great. 5 billion people will live in cities around the world. 5 billion. Most of them in the developing world.
Populations in developing countries are surging, and the world is rapidly urbanizing. As such, the number of people with limited access to basic social services and needs only grows. Cities have a role to play in providing these services. Simultaneously, they must achieve growth that is sustainable and inclusive. There has never been a better time to think about how to enable this smart growth. And we think technology is our best bet. As part of an integrated approach driven by service delivery and public-private partnerships.
Urb will provide a platform for citizens to set the agenda for dialogue around change in their communities. Denizens can report and share complaints and concerns about the issues they face. They can also posit appreciation for excellent service. The collective action and accountability will drive inclusion and sustainability. Technology can foster dialogue across many demographics. This is due to the exponential growth of basic smartphone ownership.
Cities authorities and governments will also enjoy this in two ways.
- Improved service delivery through technology innovation. Many cities suffer with complex communication systems, and hard-to-understand complaint forms. These slow the response of any city to the issues raised by its denizens. With our user-centered platform, users can send data directly to the city. The time is ripe to solve social problems with machine learning. By leveraging this artificial intelligence and big data, cities can do more.
- Garner support for change. City leaders can leverage their teams to be accountable for their actions. This creates opportunity to fashion stakeholder consensus with the local population and business community. The collaborative approach will drive the desired growth.
The venerable Martin Luther King Jr. said during his “The Other America” Speech at Stanford University in 1967:
Somewhere we must come to see that social progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated Individuals. And without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. And so we must help time, and we must realize that the time is always right to do right.―Martin Luther King Jr.
We are taking on a hard problem. We think the time is right now. As such, we invite you to join us on this journey to build a product that will use dialogue for collective action and accountability. The ultimate goal is better social service delivery. You can sign up for early access to be notified when we launch Urb in the Play Store.