Schneider Electric, the world leader in energy management, today announced it is working with Microsoft on CityNext, an initiative designed to help governments, businesses and citizens reimagine what is next for their cities. For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and nearly 70 percent of people will live in cities by 2050. This ongoing migration creates unprecedented opportunities, but also intensifies problems such as aging infrastructure, hazards to public health and safety, pollution, crime and traffic. Through the CityNext initiative,  Microsoft and Schneider Electric will help leaders to do “new with less,” by combining the power of technology with innovative ideas to connect  governments, businesses and citizens with city services that increase efficiencies, reduce costs, foster a more sustainable environment and cultivate communities where people thrive.

Schneider Electric delivers urban efficiency. Our solutions make a city’s energy, water, transportation, buildings and services infrastructure more efficient. They can be integrated where it creates new services and brings value to cities and citizens. And because we are a firm believer that making a city smarter is a collective play, we partner with other global and local players.

“Our participation in Microsoft CityNext demonstrates our belief that collaboration among industry players is essential to help cities become more efficient, liveable and sustainable. The combination of Microsoft solutions with our broad portfolio of solutions, softwares and services will help cities improve the efficiency of their urban infrastructures, thus ensuring better public services and enabling new, innovative services for the city and its people. Making cities smarter requires a profound transformation of existing models; tackling it collectively, through the involvement of citizens and city officials, local and global businesses, as well as academia, makes it real,” said Charbel Aoun, Senior Vice-President for Smart Cities, Schneider Electric.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Schneider Electric on CityNext. Microsoft prioritizes putting people and partners first in our initiatives and CityNext is no different,” said Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector.  “Even though cities are feeling the strain from economic challenges, we believe a new era of innovation will create opportunities for people to utilize technology to accomplish what they never thought possible.  We’re inspired by our diverse partner ecosystem and know that working together we can help cities realize their full potential.”