IGF 2021 Day 0 Event #91 Making smart cities happen – navigating through the web of paradoxes

Monday, 6th December, 2021 (08:30 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (09:30 UTC)
Conference Room 3

Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers




By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world's population is projected to live in urban areas. Rapid urbanization, population growth, climate change and an ageing population are challenges that public policy must address. The answer to these challenges can be found in the digitalization and development of smart cities.

The smart city idea is more than two decades old and is widely recognized as a goal towards which we should strive. However, despite several large-scale projects and widespread consensus, relatively little has been achieved on this topic so far. The reasons why smart cities are not advancing at a sufficient pace can be found in a web of paradoxes. Jevons' paradox says that the more efficiently we use a resource, the more its consumption increases. At the level of smart cities, we need to consider what can be done to ensure that the efficiency gains achieved through smart solutions are not offset by increased resource consumption. Further conflicts may arise between interoperability and resilience of systems and between privacy and security of residents.

During this roundtable, we will invite panellists and the audience to discuss the reasons why smart cities are not growing as fast as we could wish and how we can change this situation. It is important to note that the panellists have been selected to represent a variety of environments related to innovation and smart growth, i.e.: government organizations, funding, academia, Big Tech companies and startups. Audience contact and feedback will be a very important part of the debate, so we anticipate using interactive tools at every stage of our discussion.

1) The debate will be divided into three parts, with each of them tackling a different question regarding the topic of smart cities. Each part of the session will begin with a series of questions to the audience. We will use interactive polls to ensure that both online and onsite participants can take an active part in the discussion. 2) All the speakers and organizers will be on site. 3) We are planning to use Kahoot.