IGF 2020 WS #360 Building People-focused Smart Cities from the ground up

Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Renata Avila, Fundación Ciudadanía Inteligente
Organizer 2: Parminder Jeet Singh, Just Net Coalition and IT for Change
Organizer 3: ,

Speaker 1: Parminder Jeet Singh, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Valeria Betancourt, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Aleksander Tarkowski, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Moderator

Parminder Jeet Singh, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Renata Avila, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Rapporteur

Renata Avila, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Format

Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

The UN Strategy on Sustainable Urban Development highlights digital transformation and new technologies as one of four frontier issues that require a special, coordinated response. Can cities be the key to strengthen and advance digital rights and at the same time unlock the possibility of a sustainable future?

The workshop will examine smart cities and their impact on human and digital rights, identifying real challenges and priorities coming from citizens, communities and urban residents. It is critical that smart city planning focuses on solving specific sustainability problems and key missions such as battling climate change, reducing poverty, and increase citizens’ participation rather than following a technology-driven, industry-driven approach. The workshop will explore frameworks to help smart cities preserve and advance rights, open participation and benefit in full from the digital transformation.

SDGs

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Description:

The workshop will highlight the newly launched flagship programme by UN-Habitat and other partners. UN-Habitat is backing the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, with more than 60 cities globally shaping a digital future that puts people first and helps bridge the social divide. Smart cities should serve the people and improve living conditions for all. While these are principles that governments are designated to uphold, they often lack the capacity to do so. National governments are overwhelmed by the complexity of digital policies. Municipalities rarely have the in-house skills to create people-focused smart city projects or to execute holistic impact assessments on the agreements they sign with private companies. By bringing its unique global urban perspective to the digital transition, the workshop can ensure that potentially highly disruptive technology is used effectively for sustainable urban development. UN-Habitat’s unique approach and knowledge of urban development can create new capabilities for local government to move the discussion about smart cities beyond technology and link it to the implementation of the urban dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 11 and the New Urban Agenda. The workshop will discuss how to make urban digital transformation work for the benefits of all, driving sustainability, inclusivity and prosperity and the realization of human rights in cities and human settlements.

Expected Outcomes

1. DIGITAL POLICY TRANSFORMATION Increased focus and mainstreaming of people-focused, sustainable and inclusive digital transition as a critical policy topic for cities, with the IGF community. 2. DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT & CAPACITY BUILDING Enhanced capacity of governments at all levels and all the stakeholders attending IGF to adopt a people-focused, privacy-enhancing, and rights-preserving approach to digital technologies for inclusion and sustainable urban development in the achievement of the SDGs.

The session will try to include the audience with post its and in place voting cards for different questions that will be posted.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The UN Strategy on Sustainable Urban Development highlights digital transformation and new technologies as one of four frontier issues that require a special, coordinated response. The New Urban Agenda calls for the adoption of “a smart-city approach that makes use of opportunities from digitalization, clean energy and technologies”. The explosion in digital technologies is playing a major role in shaping cities – from the internet of things, to digital platforms for service delivery and 5G for autonomous mobility – and our challenge is to set a new direction that favours inclusive, resilient and sustainable use of technologies by local governments. These technologies, if well-governed, can contribute to sustainable development by reducing carbon emissions and facilitating the ecological transition, increasing access to affordable housing, enhancing participation in policy making for citizens, and ensuring access to inclusive services for communities. The issue is closely connected to Internet Governance from a local level perspective.

Relevance to Theme: The main objective of this workshop is to highlight the relevance of urban digital transformation work for the benefits of all, driving sustainability, inclusivity and prosperity and the realization of human rights in cities and human settlements. No sustainable future can be built in a vacuum, it needs to be connected to the local.

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool.