IGF 2021 HIGH LEVEL EXCHANGE PANEL: Cities United: connected, green and inclusive

Monday, 6th December, 2021 (11:15 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (12:15 UTC)
Plenary Room

The spatial distribution of the world’s population continues to change. In 2000, around 47 per cent lived in urban areas. That proportion increased to 55 per cent in 2018. The global share of the urban population is projected to rise further to 60 per cent by 2030. By then, one-third of the world’s people are estimated to be living in cities with at least half a million inhabitants.  

Big cities around the world face similar challenges, such as suburban sprawl, slums, economic segregation and pollution. Most of them are fraught with traffic congestion and disparate isolated residential neighbourhoods. According to the United Nations E-Government Survey 2020, most cities are underperforming when it comes to delivering online public services compared to national governments. However, there are exemplary cities transforming into “smart cities” and harnessing technology such as; artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots to improve service delivery and streamlining internal workforce management; big data and analytics to design and implement effective local government policies, and optimize urban public resources; use of Internet-of-Things to support smart applications in healthcare, transportation projects, law enforcement, emergency situations; and use of augmented and virtual reality to drastically improve urban navigation, improve driver safety, and support rescue operations; among many other applications. But there are also many other cities that  are early on in their “smart” journeys or have not even started yet.

This panel will discuss the importance and lessons learned in creating sustainable smart cities; designating more green areas, sports and entertainment facilities, and Internet hot spots; deploying safe and secure intelligent transport and infrastructure management systems; and developing places that people want to live, work, play, and learn in.