About Urban Economic

Urban Economic is a boutique consultancy specialising in the impact of ICT within cities. Meagan Crawford founded Urban Economic, with a goal to provide robust evidence based analysis to both public and private clients. Meagan brings over a decade of expertise across ICT installations, her work has been sought after internationally delivering projects to multinational Telecommunications clients and the highest levels of Government.

Cities are the life-blood 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. 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 impact 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.

Meagan Crawford

Executive Director of Urban Economic

Meagan has spent the last decade providing robust, mixed-method economic analysis demonstrating the performance of ICT installations 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.

Joe Dignan

Specialist Consultant

Joe is a recognised subject matter expert in the digital transformation arena. 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; Advisory Board Chair, Senior Research Fellow, Visiting Programme Director, NED and Special Adviser to the board of Digital Jersey

Practice Areas

Cities Practice

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 help both public and private clients understand and demonstrate the ex-ante and ex-post impact of digital technologies. We take an innovative approach by assessing the Economic, Financial, Social and Environmental impacts of digital technologies.

Latest Thinking

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. […]

Climate Change, Digital Transformation and RoI models

In a previous blog https://bit.ly/2PaAxEP we argued that cities were the greatest challenge to Climate change and that although we are beginning to create the data we need, we do not have the RoI models that would unlock the investment needed to tackle the problem. What if we could advance the common goals and aspirations […]


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