What will cities look like in the future? How will technology change the way we think and plan cities? What makes a city a “smart city”? How can we make our cities smarter now?
2017-19 Fellows recently attended a Smart Cities Conference in Ottawa in the end of February 2018 to discuss some of these questions. It was an excellent professional and academic opportunity to meet with other young professionals, academics, and people in government. It was also a useful exchange for the 2017-19 Fellows who are currently working very hard on implementing their Sauvé Social Impact Initiative called CityInclusive, a platform aimed at helping Canadian cities build more inclusive and smart cities.
Our cities are facing a tremendous pace and scale of change, driven by rapid advances in ‘smart city’ technologies with limitless potential for disruption. But is ‘disruption’ necessarily a good thing? Who is included or excluded from the benefits of a smart city? Will algorithms eliminate or perpetuate bias, prejudice, and inequality? What will these disruptions mean for our economy, culture, and social fabric? And how will we respond and rise to the challenges it presents?
To ensure we are prepared for smart cities that will be increasingly powered, influenced, or controlled by algorithms, Artengine and Impact Hub Ottawa are bringing together young leaders from the technology, social impact, and creative sectors to explore and examine possible futures for our cities. The Future Cities Forum will be an opportunity for knowledge exchange and relationship-building between these sectors, and aims to provoke critical inquiry about these possible futures.