Covid-19 has turned everything inside out. In cities, too. The pandemic has left an indelible mark on the outlook of the urban coat and is forcing city officials to rethink urban development to adapt to coronavirus risks and fears. Meeting those needs presents an incredibly urgent and disconcertingly novel set of challenges. So, what are cities doing beyond locking down and freezing up? What kind of systems should they put in place to be more resilient?
To talk through the variety of ways that cities around the world are coping with this new scenario, Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) will hold on November 17-18 an innovative edition under the name Smart City Live (SCLive2020). Organized by Fira de Barcelona, this year’s summit presents a unique two-day digital experience aimed at providing cities with a global new tool for business and knowledge.
Accurate content will be broadcast from Barcelona to the world through the event’s website and also through social media in a new virtual and interactive format comprising two different blocks. The first one (November 17) consists of a full-day live television show in which leading actors and international experts on smart cities, such as Saskia Sassen, Parag Khanna or Carlo Ratti, will discuss the most pressing issues affecting cities in these corona times. The second one (November 18) features online workshops and side events with high-level sector players to discuss the key challenges that cities are facing beyond the short-term context arisen by the pandemic.
The goal is clear: to provide a platform to accelerate the recovery of urban ecosystems and set the ground to deliver better services to citizens. There are, of course, recurring and pre-pandemic themes that will make a comeback with a new light, such as density and mass transit.
Yet there are also specific issues related to the pandemic that need to be accurately analyzed. How to help cities go green again as the pandemic threatens to exacerbate the scourge of plastic? Do citizens need to get used to being constantly monitored by tracking apps or other devices? Is privacy still possible in the new normal? Is remote working here to stay? How do cities ensure the new normal doesn’t bring greater inequality?
Through interviews, debates, reports and success stories, Smart City Live 2020 will provide answers to all those questions and foster a deep debate on the cities we need.
The whole SCLive2020 program will be broadcast via Tomorrow.City, a new digital platform powered by SCEWC to offer multiple business and awareness resources to their community all year round. The flagship event Smart City Expo World Congress as we knew it before the pandemic will be back in 2021 presenting an enhanced hybrid, cross-platform experience together with the Smart Mobility Congress and Retail & Brand Experience World Congress at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue.
In the meantime, SCLive2020 is a unique opportunity to keep the sector engaged and accelerate change for citizens worldwide.