Smart City Live drafts a new future for cities after the pandemic

What will the world and cities look like after the COVID-19 pandemic and what changes will become permanent and essential to guarantee the future? These are some of the questions that Smart City Live (SCL), the two-day digital edition of Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) organized by Fira de Barcelona, will tackle at a one-of-a-kind event featuring some of the top international experts, leading urban innovation companies and governments from around the world. All will debate on how to improve city resilience while preserving the goal of creating more liveable and sustainable cities worldwide.

The new SCL will feature two different blocks including a full-day live television show broadcasted on November 17 through the event’s website and social media, and second day program with online workshops and side events. The event will address the key challenges that cities are facing beyond the short-term context arisen by the pandemic, in a content programme structured around six key themes: Adapting urban mobility to safe and sustainable travel; Technologies to address global urban challenges; Redesigning cities and urban living for all; Ensuring an inclusive economic recovery; Resilient infrastructures and urban environments to build back better; and The future of retail in a digital era.

Ugo Valenti, director of Smart City Expo World Congress and Smart City Live, said that “our main goal this year is to provide a platform to reconnect and rebuild ecosystems and accelerate recovery of metropolises, with a new model that allows us, through the digital medium, to connect and reach every actor in our industry. The current situation will undoubtedly leave its mark on cities and the way they function, but it will do it for good, helping us to build metropolises capable of better delivering the services and resources its inhabitants need and ready to respond to new threats. Smart City Live is our contribution to this collective effort”.

Among the experts that will analyse the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will reshape the urban landscape are Parag Khanna, Geopolitical strategist and founder of FutureMap; Jeff Merrit, Head of IoT, Robotics & Smart Cities at the World Economic Forum; Carlo Ratti, architect, engineer and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab; Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at the Columbia University; Brent Toderian, urbanist and founder of Toderien Urban Works; and Sameh Wahba, Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice.

Public and private sector
Amidst a difficult perspective for the coming months, both public and private sectors have chosen SCL as a platform to jointly address the coming challenges. The confirmed representatives from cities, regions and countries include Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona; Michael Müller, Mayor of Berlin; Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago; Núria Marín, Mayor of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat; Daniel Quintero, Mayor of Medellín; and President of Metropolis; Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al Hoceima and President of UCLG; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris; Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm; Teresa Ribera, Fourth Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge; Government of Spain; Takuya Hirai, Minister for Digital Transformation, Social Security, Tax Number System and Information Technology Policy – Government of Japan; Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer of London; and John Farmer, Chief Technology Officer of New York City.

In addition, delegations from Aicep – Portugal, Belgium, Diputació de Barcelona (Spain), Dit + Bournemouth ((United Kingdom), Enterprise Estonia, Germany, Government of Catalonia, Icex (Spain), Inter-American Development Bank, Kotra (South Korea), Luxembourg, Nordic Countries, UN Habitat and the Zhejiang region (China), have also confirmed their participation in SCL.

The private sector will also take part in the summit and companies such as Acciona, Alcatel Lucent, AMB, Axis, China Unicom, Deloitte, Enel-X, Engie, FIA, Huawei, Keolis, Mastercard, Microsoft, Nokia, RACC, SAP, Seat, Siemens, Shanghai Oriental Group, Smart Ports and Sorigué, among others, will explain some of the tools and success stories they have been able to develop these past months

New 365-day platform
Additionally, SCEWC will also launch of Tomorrow.City, a new platform aimed at becoming a permanent hub of urban knowledge and designed to offer companies and public administrations resources that combine research, technology, and investment throughout the year. With a multi-stakeholder approach and through collaborative intelligence, it aims to accelerate sustainable and inclusive cities for all and will run through four different fields of actions focusing on data, knowledge, business and awareness.

Among the many services that Tomorrow.City offers are the Tech Radar, a constantly updated digital portfolio of the newest technologies, prototypes, and market-ready solutions available; the Tomorrow.Talent service, a flexible learning experience designed to help professionals through first-class training in the key topics of innovation and smart cities; the Tomorrow.Podcast, Tomorrow.Mag magazine seeking to raise awareness about the key challenges, solutions and strategies developed in the smart cities field; and the Tomorrow.Observatory, a daily scan of the top international urban innovation sources with a selection of the key stories and studies published worldwide.

World Smart City Awards
The annual competition organized by SCEWC will be back this year for its 10th edition. The awards seek to recognize pioneering projects, ideas and strategies making cities around the world more liveable, sustainable, and economically viable. A total of 27 projects from the five continents have been selected as finalists for each of the seven categories –City, Covid-19 Innovation, Enabling Technologies, Urban Environment, Moblity, Governnce & Economy, and Living & inclusion–, including Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Lisbon (Portugal), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Shanghai (China), Tampere (Finland) and Yokohama (Japan), in the City Category. Winners will be announced during the live online gala on November 18th.

Barcelona, November 2020

Folc Lecha
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