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The City as Platform: - How Digital Networks Are Changing Urban Life and Governance

Thursday, July 16, 2015

8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.                       Session I. Networked Cities: An Initial Survey
The “smart city” is an umbrella term for many efforts to use digital technologies to improve city services, reduce costs and resource consumption, and make city spaces more enjoyable. Chicago, Boston, Barcelona and Stockholm are four exemplar cities that have explicitly embraced smart-city policies. What are the overall trends, e.g., in demographics, transportation, energy, housing and education, that are moving cities to integrate smart technologies and their goals in doing so? What are the stand-out examples and emerging models?

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.                     Session II.  Urban Planning and the Smart City: Transportation, Energy, Housing and Infrastructure
Even for cities that are riding the crest of the economic wave, such as San Francisco, the new economy poses problems in housing (space, prices, gentrification) and quality of life. What are the levers that will most affect these issues? Additionally, many cities are embarking on new efforts to solve citywide infrastructural issues. Particularly, how can information and communications technologies, and other advances such as new sharing business models alleviate problems caused by the increase in populations in cities? How are cities conserving electricity, water and space in increasingly densely populated areas? How can experiments in energy conservation, transportation and infrastructure be extended beyond isolated examples?

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.                        Session III.  Urban Planning and the Smart City: Economic Growth, Productivity, Jobs and Inequality
An earlier Aspen Roundtable suggested that the “Power Curve Society” is hollowing out jobs for the middle class, and economic studies show an increasing disparity in wealth and income among the top 1% and the rest of the society. How are smart cities attracting good paying jobs, and fostering a growing economy? What can smart technologies do to address the growing divide?

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.                         Session IV. Public Health and Safety
As participants envision a smart city, issues of public health and safety arise. How will, for example, predictive software affect crime prevention?  Or prevent pandemics? Will the city be one of sensors and surveillance, serving public safety goals but endangering personal privacy? 

Friday, July 17, 2015

8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.                       Session V. Implications for Citizen Participation and Governance
In the end, democratic governance requires citizen engagement for self-governance. How will the trends, levers and proposed solutions improve citizen participation and government effectiveness, including widespread involvement in governance processes? What does the roundtable prescribe for civic leaders? What are the leading visions for integrating IT with city administration and governance?

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.                     Session VI. Recommendations for Government Policy
What government policies and regulations are currently in place and what policies are needed to enhance the growth of emerging smart cities? What local, state and federal policies must be implemented to bolster networked cities?