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For future cities to deliver on quality of life, genuine collaboration is key. Traditional city governance – via siloed agencies with their own budgets, services, and visions – cannot adequately navigate the complexity of future city planning. Rather the future of cities will rest on four crucial pillars; universities, industry, government and civil society.
Sustainable progress depends on the shared buy-in and commitment of all four players while also caring for the environment, which comprises a crucial fifth pillar – rather than any combination dragging the others along.
We call this the Quintuple Helix, in recognition of the interdependent role they must play in order for future cities to reach their full potential. The rationale behind the approach is relatively simple. Decisions made by one organisation can have multiple impacts on the work of others, leading to unexpected consequences. And as cities become ever more complex, this is increasingly the case.

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