Cities are spending strikingly varied amounts to deliver basic services: KPMG

 06 Nov 2017 - 11:10

Cities are spending strikingly varied amounts to deliver basic services: KPMG

The Peninsula

City governments are spending strikingly different amounts to deliver basic city services, even within the same regions, according to Finding the courage to improve: Benchmarking city services a new report from KPMG International.

The KPMG report summarises the findings of an in-depth benchmarking survey involving 35 cities around the world. Twelve basic city services were reviewed, including road access, transit, park access, garbage collection, and drinking water supply, among others.

The report reveals that some cities might be inefficient and spending too much for the services they deliver.

For example, one city reported that 65 percent of its drinking water is lost from the time it enters the treatment facility, to the time it is supplied. Some cities report spending two to three times the average for the same services, while others are not collecting reliable data to make relevant service-related comparisons.

“Technology and innovation have created massive new opportunities for cities globally and in the Middle East region, which could radically transform their efficiency and effectiveness. New funding mechanisms and private partnership opportunities are being explored across multiple city services ranging from transit to waste management, to unlock unprecedented opportunities for cost-effective service improvements. And everyone, from citizens through to government agencies,is eager for change,” said Mihir Shah (pictured), Head of Infrastructure at KPMG in Qatar.

The benchmarking report also found that cities are challenged in having a clear understanding of the actual efficiency and effectiveness of the services they deliver.

The report found that round the world, cities are pouring millions of dollars into developing and improving public transit.

The report also highlighted that to be effective, decisions with respect to service quality — headway, mode, geographic coverage — need to be taken within an overall city/urban structure strategy.

The study also explores new approaches, innovations and models now being tested and applied in cities around the world.