In a trend of ever-expanding urban centers, more than half of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities for the first time in history. As city populations grow, the demand for city services increases, putting a particular strain on energy and water. Energy and water resources are foundational to a city’s prosperity and sustainability. Managing their future will require more creative thinking and collaboration than ever. Technology and citizen engagement will play an important role in the responsible management of energy and water.

If you think about utilities and their role within a city, they power our businesses, homes and gadgets, as well as deliver fresh water so we can comfortably live our lives. However, most citizens do not think about their utility until they see their bill or they are out of power or water. At that point, they feel helpless to act. There is a growing desire to get more information so citizens have the facts in the palms of their hands. Citizens want the kind of service and real-time pricing information they get from other service providers. From the utility perspective, the entire industry has an opportunity to be more efficient for its customers. The utility industry is hungry for technology development and implementation to better manage energy and water. The question remains: how do we get there? Where are utilities investing?

In order to help understand how Itron can help utilities shape cities of the future, we commissioned a study of the global utility industry. The Itron Resourcefulness Index is a unique study that is one of the first to examine both executive and consumer attitudes within the utility industry, surveying more than 1,400 informed consumers and utility executives in 14 countries in every region of the world. It provides key insights about the utility industry, which is at a tipping point. Building smarter cities, engaging consumers in a meaningful way and resourcefully using our limited gas, water and electric resources requires innovative technology and a new way of thinking.

This month I shared findings from the Itron Resourcefulness Index, as well as what this means for cities, on the Meetings of the Minds Blog.

Click here to read my blog post highlighting our findings in the 2013 Itron Resourcefulness Index.

Itron is proud to support Meeting of the Minds 2014, taking place in Detroit September 30 – October 3. I encourage anyone interested in shaping our future cities to join Itron at this exciting event.