On the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a drive to more sustainable urban development. Digitisation is helping cities around the globe rebuild their lockdown-hit economies, as well as find solutions to other pressing issues like social unrest and climate change.
HSBC Group and Mastercard recently partnered on the City Possible initiative, which will work to co-create frameworks for cities through collective resources, expertise, and innovative and sustainable urban development solutions to the network.
In parallel, HSBC MENAT was home to the first customer execution of the new partnership, with a Group first HSBC Mastercard Power of Partnership Webinar Series, with the first episode focusing on urban tech and digital economisies fit for the future.
Connecting industries, expertise and networks from East to West, the Power of Partnership Webinar Series will discuss a range of hot-topics transforming global cities today, including: urban tech, digital economies, financial inclusion, cashless societies, the rise of new cities and districts and sustainable development and livable cities.
"Our partnership with HSBC aims to accelerate sustainable urban development,” said Raghu Malhotra, president of MEA at Mastercard. "Our combined resources along with HSBC will make this partnership stronger,” he added.
Track record in sustainability
With a firm focus on sustainability, HSBC represents a powerful addition to the project, bringing decades of experience in developing financing and managing urban development projects, as well as serving thousands of private and corporate customers across 62 markets and 300 cities globally. The bank also aims to mobilise $100 billion in sustainable financing by 2025.
"HSBC and Mastercard are brilliantly compatible partners in this City Possible initiative,” said Greg Clark, Global Head of Future Cites and New Industries, HSBC.
"We work for the future of the planet with a deep commitment to sustainable finance and the climate transition,” he added.
In 2018, Mastercard launched City Possible, a partnership and co-creation network where 181 global cities – both big and small – can draw on their collective expertise and resources to tackle urban challenges and build more resilient and inclusive communities.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have HSBC join this movement and bring their expertise and assets to the table to advance this inclusive innovation approach to addressing the most pressing issues that cities are facing all around the world,” said Miguel Gamino, Executive Vice President of Global Cities, Mastercard.
While cities had faced challenges stemming from natural disasters, climate change and social inequality well before COVID-19, the pandemic added a layer of urgency to the City Possible initiative.
Predictions show that the global urban population will triple between 1980 and 2080, bringing the possibility of both good and bad urbanisation.
Bad urbanisation is currently associated not just with congestion, crime and inequality, but also with contagion. At the same time, nearly 500 cities are vulnerable to a half-metre rise in sea levels between now and 2050 as a result of global warming.