Plató de l'Smart City Live

Smart City Live: the future of cities after the pandemic

What will the world and cities be like after the Covid-19 pandemic? What are the permanent, essential changes going to be for the future? International experts, leading companies in the area of urban innovation and government representatives from all over the world discussed how to increase cities’ resilience and create more habitable and sustainable urban areas at Smart City Live (SCL), the online edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC).

The event analysed the key challenges faced by cities beyond the short-term context created by the pandemic in areas such as sustainable urban mobility; the role of technologies in tackling big urban challenges; redesigning cities to make them more habitable; the policies for achieving inclusive economic recovery; resilient infrastructures and the future of retail in the digital era.

Barcelona City Council took part in six different events. Below are some of the main ones:

  • “‘How to accomplish the right to housing’ interview”, an interview with the Mayor, Ada Colau, on the right to housing.
  • “Inclusive technology and digital rights”, a round table discussion on digital inclusion and the role of technology in the face of Covid-19, featuring Michael Donaldson, Commissioner for Digital Innovation, E-Administration and Good Governance at Barcelona City Council; Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for London; John Paul Farmer, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for New York; and Jeanne Holm, CDO for Los Angeles.
  • “CIOs as linking pins: bridging IT and European digital policy for smart cities”, organised by the EUROCITIES - Knowledge Society Forum European forum on digital cities. A discussion on the relationship between the evolution of European digital policy and the role of ICT executives in European cities. Participants included Michael Donaldson and The Hague CIO Marijn Fraanje. You can watch a recording of the debate on the platform
  • “Towards a just digital transition for the postpandemic”, a round table discussion with Laia Bonet, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona for the Digital Transition; Touria Meliani, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam for Digital City and Culture; François William Croteau, Deputy Mayor of Montreal for Smart Cities, Information Technology and Innovation; and Luiz Alvaro, Secretary of International Relations of the city of São Paulo. The round table was moderated by the prestigious Ciudadanía Inteligente foundation executive director Renata Ávila.

Cities Coalition for Digital Rights

The Cities Coalition for Digital Rights took part in Smart City Live with two events in which Barcelona featured as one of the drivers of this partnership:

  • “City2City Dialogues: how do cities protect the digital rights of citizens?”, an organised side event in which the CIOs of the same cities that set up the alliance (Barcelona, Amsterdam and New York) discussed with CIOs from other cities in the world, such as Toronto and Milan, the application of digital rights in their respective cities.
  • Annual Meeting of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, aimed at defining its future lines of action.

City CIOs Forum

The City CIOs Forum is an annual meeting that has been held within the framework of the Smart City Expo since 2014, bringing together key people in charge of urban technology innovation from all over the world to define the challenges for the future and the possible solutions to them.

This year, the discussions revolved around three main subjects:

  • Digital inclusion.
  • Digital rights, the responsible use of artificial intelligence and automated decision making.
  • Urban innovation and the creation of data-based policies.

In addition to Barcelona, the event featured the participation of the cities of Dublin (Ireland), Tel Aviv (Israel), Essen (Germany), London (United Kingdom), Ghent (Belgium), Tallinn (Estonia), Montreal (Canada), Miami (United States) and San Antonio (United States).


This year's edition saw the SCEWC launch Tomorrow.City, a new platform designed to provide companies and public authorities with technology, training, research and investment resources throughout the year.

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