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Tech and Cities: 4 ideas about the future of smart cities

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Imagine a city based on inclusiveness and gap bridging. Imagine a city built for persons not cars. Imagine a city governed by transparency through e-governance platforms. In fact, you can stop imagining, all this is already here. We have spoken with globally renowned experts in smart cities and this is what they have told us.

1. “Hacking cities is very much a reality”, Rob Kitchin

"Hacking cities is very much a reality".

Rob Kitchin’s research focuses on how software and data are reshaping how cities are managed and governed, and how digital technologies are transforming everyday life. His research was conducted through two projects: the Programmable City project, funded by the European Research Council, and the Building City Dashboards project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Read his interview now.

2. “The urban discipline has been built taking the male experience as a reference standard, thus we can say that in many occasions cities generate comparative disadvantage situations for women”, Inés Sánchez de Madariaga

Focused on architecture and urbanism with a gender view, Inés Sánchez de Madariaga has a PhD in Architecture, specialised in Urban Planning. Since 2016, Inés has been working as the UNESCO Chair for Gender Equality Policies in Science, Technology and Innovation, and Co-Chair of the Research and Academic Partner Constituent Group of the General Assembly of Partners, New Urban Agenda, UN-Habitat. Read her interview here.

3. “A smart city needs citizens who are actively involved. But to be involved, the city also has to provide open data with the right tools to give the opportunity to do so”, Marek Vogt

Marek Vogt is an urban planner and citizen participation expert at WeLoveTheCity, a Rotterdam-based firm that focuses on innovative strategic urban planning and design. His fields of expertise cover urban regeneration in a public-private setting, including spatial, social, economic and sustainable components. Read the full article here.

4. “The societal gains from technology are astounding, but we need intentional place-based policies that uplift the needs of people, and strengthened social safety nets to help us better transition into the city-led future that we all want to see”, Brooks Rainwater

"A smart city collects, aggregates, and analyzes real-time data through technology to improve the lives of its residents."

Brooks Rainwater is the senior executive and director of the US National League of Cities’ (NLC) Centre for City Solutions. Rainwater drives the organisation’s research agenda, community engagement efforts, and leadership education programming to help city leaders create strong local economies, safe and vibrant neighbourhoods, world-class infrastructure, and a sustainable environment world wide. Read the full interview here.