Understanding cities

Complex systems of interdependent systems

Every city is in a constant state of flux. The unique, but continually changing, profile of any city is based on several systems; ecological, structural, socioeconomic, and governance-related.


Because of this mesh of systems, many factors come into play in solving key challenges like air quality, efficient transportation and logistics, energy supply, and climate change resilience.

These are global challenges, but they have local impacts and require local solutions. Managing them demands domain knowledge across multiple sectors.

Our service offering to cities and ports is both broad and deep. We can provide deep technical expertise as well as broad system thinking and modelling.

Changing cities in a changing climate

Learn more in our Group Technology and Research position paper

The city of the future

Explore our cities forecast in Technology Outlook 2025

SDG 11 - Sustainable cities and communities

Our assessment of UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities & human settlements

Smart green cities

A plan for the future with stepping stones to get there

Future-proof grids

Flexible, cost-effective and interconnected hybrid future-proof grids

Global Opportunity Report: Cities disrupted by climate change

Explore the business opportunities in this risk, including 'business of power', 'smart water tech' and 'upgrading informal housing'

Global Opportunity Report: Accelerating transport emissions

Explore the business opportunities in this risk, including 'flexible mobility', 'crowd transport' and 'low transport cities'

DNV GL's services improving your cities and ports systems