Meeting the challenges of global megapolises
Experts debated what IT technologies of the future will be and how to increase the attractiveness of public transport in global megacities
In less than eight years, it is predicted that the population of the largest urban agglomerations will total 2 billion people accounting for three-fifths of global GDP.
This statistic was one of the revelations announced at the Moscow Urban Forum, an annual international event on urban development, architecture, economy and strategic planning. Already today, only 50 agglomerations, in which 8 per cent of the world’s population lives, create almost a quarter of its wealth, delegates were told.
“We live in an era of unprecedented growth in cities that will drive the development of the economy as a whole,” said Sergey Sobyanin, mayor of Moscow at the welcome address. “Every year there are three new cities as large as Shanghai appearing or four as large as New York. By 2025, the population of the largest urban agglomerations will reach 2 billion people who will produce 60 per cent of global GDP.”
This year’s event attracted more than 400 international experts from 68 countries including: Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London; Thomas Geisel, mayor of Dusserldorf; Anil Menon, global president, smart+connected communities, Cisco; and Parag Khanna, author of Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilisation.
Discussing the concept of smart cities, experts debated what IT technologies of the future will be, how big data collection and analysis could improve quality of life and how to increase the attractiveness of public transport in global megacities.
Speakers underlined the importance of cities having the necessary infrastructure at the beginning of their development: “It’s not technologies. Technologies only come after as one of the tools and as infrastructure that we have. But the focus is on the challenges and citizens’ needs,” said Francesca Bria, chief technology and digital innovation officer, Barcelona City Council.
- urban design