Urban Economic is a specialist consultancy with a focus across digital transformation.  We help cities leverage data-driven impact to solve some of the most complex challenges posed by rapid urbanisation and climate change. 

About us

Meagan Crawford founded Urban Economic, with a goal to provide robust evidence-based analysis across digital innovations to aid industry and civic leaders on how to maximise their impact. Meagan brings over a decade of expertise across digital innovations, her work has been sought after internationally delivering projects to multinational Telecommunications clients and the highest levels of Government.

Cities are the lifeblood of national economies; they contribute an average of 85% of GDP. Today, nearly 60% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Research shows that urbanisation, the gradual movement from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5bn people to urban areas by 2050, with nearly 90% of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa. This migration to urban centres is placing an enormous strain on existing infrastructure and the environment as a result. How people move through and interact with transport in cities is becoming increasingly important to the quality of life of citizens, as well as the economic capabilities and environmental footprint of cities. At the same time, cities are under increasing pressure to prioritise competing demands with shrinking budgets in order to remain competitive in a globalised market for labour, as well as goods and services.

Today, cities around the world are under increasing pressure to prioritise competing demands with shrinking budgets whilst at the same time attempting to remain competitive in a globalised market. The Cities Practice at Urban Economic provides a robust approach to advising industry and civic leaders on how to best maximise social, economic and environmental impact through evidence-based analysis and decision making.  

Central to our work at Urban Economic is delivering robust, evidence-based analysis, communicated effectively. Our deep understanding of the challenges faced by cities enables us to develop innovative solutions for governments, policy makers and asset owners. Rapid urbanisation is a global issue and our team’s ability to work both in developed and emerging markets gives us unique perspective and insight.

Our understanding of the linkages between the economy, funding sources and development feasibility allows us to both influence and improve our urban world. Areas of work include; sustainable green infrastructure, Smart cities, transport, sector growth and regional and city growth strategies and economic modelling. We have experience throughout the OECD and developing and emerging economies.


01  DATA
The foundation of effective decision making. 

We advise our clients on the necessity of building robust data-driven approaches. This is an essential first step, and in many cases involves establishing first principles through an outcome mapping framework.

Informed decision making. 

We utilise a rigorous approach to providing an evidence-base to inform decision making. We do this by using mixed-method analysis to maximise decision making intelligence. 

Effective decision making. 

We maximise our clients impact and strengthen their business case using evidence-based intelligence. 

Who we are

Meagan Crawford

Executive Director of Urban Economic

Meagan has spent the last decade providing robust, mixed-method economic analysis demonstrating the performance of digital innovations in cities all over the world. Previous to founding Urban Economic, Meagan was the Lead Economist at Future Cities Catapult, an International Centre of Excellence set up by the UK Government. In her role, Meagan led the analysis of numerous multi-million pound projects across Europe, Central & North America and the Middle East. Meagan applied her expertise to leading internationally significant research programmes partnering with some of the world’s brightest academics and industry leaders globally.

A selection of engaged clients


Joe Dignan

Digital Transformation Expert

Joe is a recognised subject matter expert in the digital transformation arena. Previous roles have included Chief Public Sector Analyst for OVUM and World Wide Industry Managing Director for Local and Regional Government for Microsoft. He is on the World Bank’s Smart City Expert Framework, a member of the Stakeholder Group for the European Commission’s Smart Cities and Communities Group, the EU-China smart city expert group, NED,  Advisory Board Chair, Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Science and Progress, Kings College London, Visiting Programme Director and former Special Adviser to the board of Digital Jersey.

Louisa Barker

Urban Resilience Specialist

Louisa provides policy advice and analysis on urban resilience and disaster risk management to governments across the world. She has provided consultancy for institutions including the World Bank, Future Cities Catapult and the University College London City Leadership Laboratory.

Latest thinking

The business case for sustainable urban transport

With such a strong business case and demonstrable ROI to speak for investments in sustainable transport, governments have a moral obligation to act. Transport: it’s an indispensable part of modern living. The composition of our society’s infrastructure gives vehicles a pivotal role in our daily lives. Yet, at a time when the effects of climate change are …

Connected Cities: Has the future changed in light of Covid-19?

It’s arguable that Covid-19 has been one of the most impactful peacetime events in our history. It has transformed our business landscape in ways that no one could have imagined. Whole countries came to a complete standstill for months on end, leaving cities – our most vibrant economic and social hubs – as empty husks. …