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Dialogue 5: Transforming Cities through Innovative solutions and Technologies

By 2050, more than two-thirds of world population will be living in cities – an increase of 2.5 billion people. This rapid urbanization would require transformation of today’s cities where most of the production and consumption activities take place, and where most of the negative environmental externalities are generated.

Oliver Lah


date June 30, 2022 | 11:00 - 13:00
Spodek Arena
Polish, Spanish, English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese + ISL [Polish + English]
Transforming Cities through Innovative Solutions and Technologies


By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world population will be living in cities – an increase of 2.5 billion people requiring transformation of today’s cities and providing opportunity, as many new cities are still to be built. Innovative solutions and technologies will play an important role in ensuring future cities are more people-centred, inclusive, safe, resilient and environmentally friendly.

As centres of economic development, and cultural and social exchange, cities have always catalysed innovation. Their role has become even more important with the challenges of the global pandemic, the climate crisis and rapid urbanization. The dialogue will bring diverse stakeholders together to discuss the opportunities and challenges of our Future Cities 2050.


Under the overall theme of transforming our cities for a better urban future, the dialogue will bring diverse stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges with digitalization, urban innovations and newer digital technologies.

The dialogue will seek answers to questions like how cities in the future will, enabled by innovations and technology look like and how will they maximize the socio-economic benefits of new technologies for the greatest good for its inhabitants while upholding their rights.

Sub Title

Future Cities 2050

Guiding Questions for discussions

  1. Will our future cities be people- or technology centred? How do we ensure that no one is left behind?  
  2. What can future cities do to maximize the socio-economic benefits of new technologies for the greatest good of its inhabitants while upholding their human and digital rights?
  3. What kind of urban futures do we envisage in technological terms? What kind of futures do we envision for resource-limited cities?  
  4. How can cities leverage innovation and new technologies to achieve more productive, prosperous and resilient urban economies in different contexts?  
  5. What role can disruptive technologies play in enhancing social inclusion, more equitable cities and quality of life? How can innovation and technology contribute to environmentally resilient urban development?  
  6. How can cities mobilize new financing models to reach the unconnected; How can cities invest in affordable technology solutions?  
  7. How can cities apply their civic technologies and encourage innovations to address their problems before pursuing private-sector technology products?
  8. How can cities better govern the growing digital ecosystem and the emerging smart cities?
  9. At the national, regional and international level, what guidelines or institutional arrangements should be in place to facilitate the governance of urban digital ecosystems and smart cities.

Concept Note

Cristina Bueti

International Telecommunication Union | Counsellor and ITU Focal Point on Environment and Smart Sustainable Cities and Communities

Maria Francesca Spatolisano

United Nations | Acting Envoy on Technology

Jean Todt

UNRSTF | UN SG's Special Envoy for Road Safety

Oliver Lah

Urban Living Lab Center at Wuppertal Institute/Technical University Berlin | Head

Eveline Prado Trevisan

Sustainability and Environment, BHTrans | Coordinator

Mikaela Patrick

Design ResearcherGlobal Disability Innovation Hub | Senior Inclusive Design Researcher

Minerva Novero

UNDP | Policy Specialist, UNDP (ICT for Development, Smart Cities, e-Governance)

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