Welcome note from your humble moderator

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Francesc Giralt Francesc Giralt 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #4229
    Profile photo of Gordon Feller
    Gordon Feller

    With growing number of leaders focused on smart-cities, I’m hearing more often a demand for defensible answers to tough questions. Here’s just one of them: “How exactly does my city make the transition to a smart-city?”
    As the U.N. system readies for convening Habitat 3, we must hope that the organizers (who sit inside national governments and their international agencies) listen carefully to the full range of actors: ordinary people; NGOs, cities, companies, academia, philanthropy.
    My own opinion is this: There’s no better time than right now for us to be debating the best transition strategies that get us from where we are today to the future for smart-cities.
    This online platform — the World Smart City Forum — is designed to facilitate discussions which are (hopefully) rich, nuanced and layered. This make sense in light of the fact that smart-cities are, almost by definition, complex and multi-dimensional.
    There’s some good news to report — the the World Smart City Forum’s desired outcomes are modest: new insights that can be infused into the program which will convene on July 13 in Singapore; and probably some productive new relationships amongst and between us.
    The three global organizations who’ve launched this — IEC with the help of ISO and ITU — have chosen four ‘pain points’:
    -Transportation/Mobility for smart cities
    -Water for smart cities
    -Energy for smart cities
    -Cybersecurity and privacy for smart cities
    Taking on even one of these four would be daunting. But the opportunities here are just too compelling! This is certainly one reason that I accepted the invitation to serve as your humble moderator for both the 6 months on-line Forum and the Forum convening on July 13.
    My own guest blog post, with thoughts about this new Forum, was published today by Meeting of the Minds. It can be found here:
    http://cityminded.org/new-global-platform-helping-city-leaders-achieve-smart-city-goals-14751 (going live January 18)
    Your comments on this Forum would be most welcome!
    What do you think?
    —Gordon Feller
    PS: A special note of thanks to our select group of Community Ambassadors, since we’ll be asking them (as of this launch this week) to move our conversation into the directions that yield big returns.
    Here is the full copy of my Concept Paper

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Gordon Feller.
  • #4281

    Sue Lebeck

    Thank you, Gordon, for outlining the important terrain we take up together in this World Smart Cities conversation. Key is the reminder in your Concept Paper that the purpose of “smart” capabilities is to accelerate the urban journey toward resiliency, sustainability and a high quality of life.

    I’d like to underscore and embellish the four “pain points” chosen by our esteemed hosts as focus areas for this conversation. As we address the issues of clean energy and water — lifeblood commodities in cities that increasingly require smart conscious management to secure — I encourage us to attend to the interrelationship between those elements, and to the GhG emissions implications of the energy sources involved. And as we look to the pain points of transportation/mobility and cyber-security/privacy, we should look at issues of safety and social vibrancy on our city streets. With these and all subjects, keeping a systems view of a city in mind and developing approaches and solutions that cross city siloes will be key.

    Thank you for inviting us all into this next leg of our journey together.

  • #4282
    Profile photo of

    Hi Gordon/Sue,

    Excited to be here. I think the four “pain points” are a good start, of course the potential list is huge as are the opportunities. It’s good to see Cybersecurity and privacy on there, especially when you consider the recent increase in data breaches and DDOS attacks. Without a secure reliable network the whole smart city concept could quickly cause more problems than it solves.

    I’d agree with Sue that a systems view needs to be kept in mind as the true value lies in interconnected systems. Underlying themes for each of the pain points could include product lifecycle management, systems updates, safety, legal/compliance, value for money, user feedback, legacy systems, etc. As a disability manager at a UK university and with around 10 -15% of the Global population with a disability I’d like to see disability access included.

    thanks, Mark

  • #4349

    Francesc Giralt

    Thank you Gordon for pinpointing four “pain points” that cities should overcome to succeed in their transformational journeys.

    Looking closely at each them in relation to the three city systems of structure, interactions and society, it becomes clear that transportation/mobility is closely related to urbanization and land use and to how public spaces are interconnected with the built and natural domains, with adequate accessibility. The opportunities for improvement in regard to water and energy management become clearer by looking at them from a circular metabolism point of view. This circular approach should lead to the concept of circular city by also encompassing the cycle of matter (food and manufactured materials) and economy. The fourth pain point of cibersecurity and privacy could be made more citizen-centric by conceptually locating it under the umbrella of safeguarding citizens’ rights.

    These are just suggestions to minimize the risk of making the list of pain points and opportunities huge.


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