Our approach

To design the future of its city, a local authority must first define its goals, then identify and implement drivers for action, before assessing results in real time as part of a continuous improvement process. With 150 years of experience managing resources and operating complex urban services, SUEZ sees the city of tomorrow as a resourceful city that is able to draw on all its own assets to develop and to boost its attractiveness.

Our vision of a resourceful city

A circular, resilient, collaborative and inclusive city

Based on our expert knowledge as an operator of complex urban services, we offer an integrated vision of the city (environment, transport, energy, street lighting etc.). With our business and project expertise, we can help local decision-makers build a city that can create its own resources and offer its residents a pleasant and sustainable living environment.


We see the city of tomorrow as a resourceful city that has a duty to be:

  • circular: it must be able to (re)generate the resources that are vital for it to run smoothly and endure into the future,
  • resilient: it must be able to adapt to events so as to protect its inhabitants and return to optimal operating conditions as quickly as possible,
  • collaborative and inclusive: it calls on its citizens, local councillors and all other stakeholders to take part in designing new urban services.


We consider the city as a complex combination of interdependent components such as transport, health, environment and energy. An action carried out on one of these components can have a positive impact on the city as a whole. For example, an action on a city’s transport system will have consequences on the environment and therefore on the health of local residents. In the same way, revitalising certain districts may, by propagation, make it possible to rejuvenate the entire city much more effectively.


For us, a city’s intelligence is above all else its inhabitants’ intelligence. For the city of tomorrow, urban data is a necessary driver for development, but is not enough in itself. The use of connected objects and data integration and processing platforms must benefit residents and enhance how they live together. At SUEZ, we place importance in user behaviour and in achieving a city’s ambition, not in the technology per se. All stakeholders of a city (urban planners, foresight experts, engineers, service users etc.) must be involved in designing a suitable, intelligent urban model. This is what we focus on when we are designing new services to benefit, first and foremost, its users.

Our methodology

Helping cities achieve their ambition and their transformation

1 - Assessing current and future needs

We carry out a thorough assessment of the region to identify its inhabitants’ user behaviour and the genuine needs of a city undergoing change. We value the importance of understanding the expectations of citizens and local councillors on such varied issues as mobility, safety, environment, living conditions, service efficiency etc. When taking a long-term view of the future, it is also vital we consider urban population growth, financial pressure on local budgets, decentralisation and concentration of power, fair distribution of resources and a growing desire among citizens to improve their quality of life.


Our assessment, analysed in detail with all parties involved, enables us to reveal possible scenarios for development then work out the most pertinent solutions in terms of the goals that have been set and the region’s specificity.

2 - Turning a city’s ambitions into concrete goals

Our role is to measure the political ambition that local authorities have set for the city, then translate it into concrete goals and projects using our assessment.


Through our expertise in complex urban projects – project design, implementation of innovative solutions, facility operations and maintenance – we can offer cities expert support in managing transformation. We bring together all the components of a city with a view to enhancing its attractiveness and operational efficiency and to improving quality of life:

  • energy, water, waste, air;
  • work, health, education, police, leisure, culture;
  • inhabitants, users, decision-makers, businesses;
  • infrastructure, material and financial resources etc.


By designing urban digital platforms that collect, manage, analyse and exploit the city’s data, we can fully adopt this new way of considering the city in its entirety, and facilitate interaction between its different stakeholders (administration, inhabitants and businesses). These platforms have many applications including smart street lighting, reductions in energy consumption, a collaborative circular economy and mobility optimisation.

3 - Defining the best ways to implement our solutions

As a provider of urban planning solutions with a strong partnership approach, we work with the local authority to identify the best partners and technology.


This type of set-up enables us to try out new forms of consortium, such as public-private partnerships, and new business models that we devise on a case-by-case basis.

4- Monitoring and controlling results

The local authority must be able to monitor, manage and take the right decisions as part of a continuous improvement process. For this, it needs to have the right indicators with which to measure results. These indicators are used to test and measure solutions on a continuous basis.


Following a period of observation, the solutions can be adjusted to further improve how they are performing in terms of the strategic goals initially set by the local authority.


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