Affected by Covid-19 cities had to respond the crisis and outline their way towards recovery. Some of the strategies evolved into criteria for a more resilient and sustainable urbanity.
In the report launched on September 20, Deloitte, Porto Business School’ s associated, identifies twelve trends that could determine global urban transformation.
Launched at the webinar “Urban Future with a Purpose”, on September 21, “Urban Future with a Purpose: 12 trends shaping the future of cities by 2030”, which include references to more than 30 case studies of world urban areas, among which Lisbon, Porto, and Cascais, consulted international specialists about urban issues, compiling 12 trends that cities might follow in their own journey towards sustainability, resilience, and prosperity, resorting to technology and innovation.
Categorized into six areas, the identified trends mirror the strategies adopted by cities around the globe during this last year and a half to respond the effects of the pandemic.
During the webinar, hosted by Miguel Eiras Antunes, partner of Deloitte, and Lídia Pereira, European Parliament member, the main trends that will shape the urban future was presented.
The report highlights the affirmation of public spaces as planned centers for social life with new corridors and green spaces, and the development of health care ecosystems for wellness through early prevention and intervention, where digital technologies are vital for the interaction between healthcare professionals and citizens.
In this context the example of Freetown, in Sierra Leone, was identified where the goal is to plant a million of trees until 2022. Regarding mobility, the models of proximity, such as “15 minutes city” and the adoption of more sustainable and intelligent methods (based on the concept of mobility as a service (MaaS) are vital.
In the economic sphere, the report underlines the need of planning and inclusive services, particularly, the access to housing and infrastructures, equality of rights and participation, and job creation and opportunities. Thus, cities should foster the promotion of digital innovation ecosystem, becoming experimentation labs and remote hubs for the digital nomads.
Thinking of the climate challenge the report highlights the relevance of actions for the circular economy and local manufacturing, including the transformation of the environment through sustainable and efficient buildings and infrastructures. To that end, the data analysis is fundamental to optimize energy consumption and resources management (wastes, water, and energy) in the buildings. Singapore is considered a successful example for the adoption of the Green Mark certificate that improved a variety of urban activities, such as sanitation and waste collecting.
The rise of civic engagement, the resource of artificial intelligence and the data analysis about processes and urban operations integrate the trends pointed out by the experts on governance and education.
In the fields of security and protection, it is comprehensive the concern about issues with cybersecurity and privacy, and the use of vigilance and predictive solutions based in artificial intelligence to monitor areas more vulnerable to crime and natural hazards. The report points out the challenge might fall on integrating these innovations without questioning citizens’ privacy and freedom.
The webinar also included two discussion panels with some of the experts who participated in the elaboration of the report. In the first session Kishore Rao (Deloitte), Sameh Wahba (World Bank Group), Maimunah Mohd Sharif (UN Habitat) and Mami Mizutori (ONU) addressed the relevance of integrated planning and a holistic approach. In the second session, hosted by Jeff Merrit (World Economic Forum), the mayors Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (Freetown), Mohamed Ridouani (Leuven) and Miguel Pinto Luz (Cascais) shared some of their own experiences regarding the challenges resulting from the pandemic.
Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of European Commission and Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life, highlighted the relevance of the cities as the major centers for growth. Schinas highlighted the role of the European Commission in the capture and retention of talent skilled in managing these new sustainable and inclusive urban centers.
In the closing session, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, called on the “everyone’s support and cooperation” in the response to the challenges more intensive in the urban centers, reinforcing the need of “more resilient and adaptable cities to the climate changes” and the urge of a global action towards carbon neutrality”.
For this global action it is vital the organizational commitment, from companies and education institutions. Porto Business School has been optimizing efforts to get closer from urban centers, proposing solutions for the cities as experimentation laboratories. This is the case of UCITYLAB project, funded by Erasmus+, which aims to bring universities closer to the cities in solving societal challenges. This project included the promotion of a workshop with Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, in which the main challenges of the city were identified and, later, were addressed by the students of Porto Business School in a programme of The Executive MBA e The Digital MBA.
In the context of “smart cities”, Porto Business School also participates in the CityCatalyst project to develop a methodology of open innovation for smart and sustainable cities and the project RESICITIES that aims to create an entrepreneurship programme for smart cities.
Still in the context of “smart cities”, the registrations for the third edition of Eurekathon are open. This initiative is promoted by Porto Business School, LTPlabs and NOS. This year, and under the theme “Challenging Data for Sustainable Cities”, it aims to find solutions to optimize urban spaces, fostering the creation of more sustainable and intelligent cities. This third edition of the competition, also has the partnership of Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos and CEiiA, will take place virtually on November 12 to 14 through a platform designed for the event. And on November 20 the finalists will present their projects to be evaluated by a panel of expert judges.
Source: Smart Cities magazine – can be consulted here.
Deloitte report can be consulted here.