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Digitalization, Urban Governance and Sustainable Cities

5 speakers

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To address the emerging challenges of climate change, we urgently need transformative actions. Human settlements are identified as one of the key areas of interventions that hold the key to the sustainable future for all. The wave of digitalization can fundamentally reshape human settlements and can be such a driver of transformative change. While ‘smart cities’ are emerging across the world, a socio-economic and governance oriented understanding of digitalization building on its technical component is needed to assist urban practitioners in finding their unique and customized approach to it. In this session, we want to highlight what digitalization means for cities from and beyond technical interventions. How we can ensure that everyone can benefit from this digital wave and it does not abate existing inequalities. We would particularly like to highlight the potential of digitalization to transform urban governance. Building on the ideas of application of digitalization in digital twin cities and climate change adaptation, we would like to highlight the capacities needed in the first place to ensure a participatory, just and sustainable digitalization. What digitalization means for cities in different stages of development, what fundamental changes do we need to make today and how urban governance above all is likely to change in the view of all this? With particular focus on sustainability and the crucial role of local governance, we would like to share possible digitalization pathways and caveats that decision makers and other stakeholders might like to consider in their digitalization strategies. This event is planned as an awareness creating as well as pathway making event that can enable decision makers across scales to be aware of different possibilities and hopefully propagate foresight thinking and planning. We will have a diverse group of speakers coming from academia, emerging changemakers, vulnerable groups and practitioners and we aim to showcase possible avenues of future engagement to take the discussions and action further.