Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World

Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World


A path toward resilient digital cities

Digital inclusion has gained relevance as an enabler of resilience in recent years, due to its potential to integrate, amplify, and innovate diverse public and social services that are key to cities’ well-being. 

Digitalization has taken an even greater leap forward due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people have started changing the way they access services, interact, and navigate spaces.

Through this joint program, Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World, Visa and the Resilient Cities Network collaborate with key stakeholders to support cities in Latin America and the Caribbean in solving key challenges and identifying opportunities for digital inclusion to become more resilient.

“Our joint initiative with Visa and Resilient Cities Network is contributing to the construction of a more resilient public transport network. By incorporating open payments, the “Mi Movilidad” system is creating more and better alternatives for users, increasing the service’s efficiency and generating opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of public transport in the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara and soon throughout the state of Jalisco. Thus, Jalisco becomes the only state in Latin America to have an Integrated Transportation System with open payments.”

Diego Monraz
Minister of Mobility, State of Jalisco

“Through the Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World program, the Metropolitan District of Quito, together with Resilient Cities Network and Visa, is strengthening commerce in the city by facilitating the buying and selling of produce, prioritizing small-scale producers and small and medium-sized businesses, as well as local production. This is preparing the urban economy to handle future acute shocks through digital strategies.”

David Jácome
Chief Resilience Officer, Secretariat of Planning, Metropolitan District of Quito

“The partnership between the Municipality of Salvador with Resilient Cities Network and Visa to develop the training program for e-commerce and digital developments for entrepreneurs forms part of the “Digital Citizenship Ecosystem: Democratizing Knowledge” project, which won the LATAM Smart City Awards 2021 in the category of Equality and Collaboration. This joint project has allowed us to make progress toward productive digital citizenship and has contributed to Salvador’s development as a Smart City.”

Magda Guimarães de Andrade
Systems Analyst, Electronic Governance Company of Salvador (COGEL), Investment Coordinator and Startup Accelerator / Office of Innovation, Municipal Secretariat of Innovation and Technology (SEMIT).

Components of the program

1.0 Understand

Executive summary and concept paper “Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World”

View executive summary
View concept paper (English version)
View concept paper (Portuguese version)
View concept paper (Spanish version)

2.0 Solve

Through a collaborative  innovation process the program enables the co-creation of digital solutions to urban resilience pressing challenges.

Learn More About Participating Cities

3.0 Scale

The program amplifies it’s impact by sharing the acquired knowledge and making it available through events, conferences and publications.

View Digital Solutions for Urban Resilience (English version)
View Digital Solutions for Urban Resilience (Spanish version)
View Digital Solutions for Urban Resilience (Portuguese version)
View landing page of the International Forum: Digital Solutions for Urban Resilience
View recording of  the International Forum: Digital Solutions for Urban Resilience

Participant cities from the First Edition

The challenges presented by these three cities stood out for their potential to generate a resilient and transformative impact with the potential to inspire other cities in the Latin American region.

The three selected cities are:

The Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco in Mexico

Challenge: How could we ensure an interoperable, inclusive, efficient, sustainable and safe digital experience of public transport for residents and visitors in the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara and the rest of the state of Jalisco, making the city more resilient and equitable?

Definition of the solution: Modernizing Jalisco’s public transport by implementing a digital open payments system for a more agile, efficient, sustainable and accessible service.

Key Resilience Benefits

  • Modernized state, following the trend moving toward cashless cities
  • Shorter transit times, better planning and cost-efficiencies combine to increase the urban system’s accessibility, affordability and connectivity.
  • Contributes to an improved multi-level coordination between the various departments of Jalisco’s state government.
  • Improvement in the management of information helps improve the analysis and decision-making with aspects directly and indirectly related to mobility systems.
  • Increased use of public transportation has a positive environmental impact since reduces private vehicle use (carbon footprint)

[Watch the deep dive session (Spanish)]

The Metropolitan District of Quito in Ecuador

Challenge: How can we accelerate the adoption of agile, user-friendly, safe and transparent digital tools so that small businesses are able to manage their finances and e-payments more easily, not only helping them to reactivate their businesses but also making them more resilient to future challenges?

Definition of the solution: By strengthening value chains, connecting small-scale producers and local businesses through the acceptance of digital payments and the implementation of digital tools for a better management of finances and inventories in important ConQuito initiatives, including the bioferias or bio-markets, working with urban farmers as part of the AGRUPAR program.

Key Resilience Benefits

  • Greater convenience and flexibility of payments for users
  •  Increased competitiveness of these small businesses
  • Access to benefits, discounts and microloans through the use of electronic payments
  • Increased health and safety; decreased contact through card payments
  • Service continuity in case of acute shocks (such as torrential rainfall, disease outbreaks, roadblocks, etc.)

[Watch the deep dive session (Spanish)]

The Municipality of Salvador in Brazil

Challenge: How can we promote productive digital inclusion to strengthen local development and support sustainable entrepreneurship to make Salvador a more resilient city?

Definition of the solution: By training to develop the necessary soft and hard skills needed to give backing to local talent, entrepreneurs and markets, working toward a smarter, more resilient and more inclusive urban development.

Key Resilience Benefits

  • Digital systems and IT training for vulnerable groups, helping to narrow the existing digital gap in the city.
  • Integral professional IT training aims to increase the percentage of the population employed in the ITC sector, boosting digital innovation and economic diversification.
  • Using electronic payments increases levels of insertion in the financial markets, enabling access to capital and allowing for greater integration and economic growth.
  • Consulting agents support to small local businesses reinforces community commitment and social cohesion.
  • The collaboration among various city stakeholders in the program’s design strengthens the integrated and joint planning and co-creation between the government, the private sector and citizens.

[Watch the deep dive session (Portuguese)]


Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World