As local leaders continue to adapt to the tremendous changes that the past year brought, industry experts share how they anticipate cities will evolve.

Cities needed to adapt to tremendous challenges in 2021. Leaders faced increasingly dangerous driving behavior, extreme weather events, tense political climates and rising crime rates in addition to the ongoing, and constantly changing, COVID pandemic. Despite the past year’s many obstacles, some cities made progress in becoming more sustainable and equitable places to live by increasing investments in cycling and electric vehicle infrastructure, piloting free public transportation, and continuing to help close the digital divide. Moving into the new year, local leaders say they are likely to continue to focus on those initiatives, as well as on cybersecurity, infrastructure and climate resiliency. Smart Cities Dive asked readers to share how they think cities will evolve in 2022. Here’s a selection of responses we received:

Data and technology will help close the digital divide

“In 2022, we anticipate cities — now more tech-savvy than ever — will have an increased focus on using technology to improve equity for city residents, with a particular emphasis on bridging the digital divide that separates Americans with access to high-speed internet from those without. We expect that data teams who’ve focused on outreach efforts to assist residents in understanding […]

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