36 Pioneer Cities Chart Course Towards More Ethical And Responsible Future


The World Economic Forum announced Tuesday that 36 cities across 22 countries and six continents have agreed to pioneer a new roadmap for safely adopting new technology as part of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. 

Cities are facing urgent challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and other major disruptions, which are expected to culminate in a budget crisis that could reach $1 trillion in the United States alone. They need data and innovation to become more resilient, responsive and efficient. Yet there is no global framework for how cities should use these technologies, or the data they collect, in a way that protects the public interest. 

This is set to change with the launch of a new global policy roadmap by the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, designed to give cities the procedures, laws and regulations they need to use new technology responsibly. The secretariat of the alliance is hosted at the World Economic Forum. 

“This roadmap is not about theoretical ideas and pipe dreams, it is built on practical, real-world policies from leading cities around the globe,” said Jeff Merritt, Head of the Internet of Things and Urban Transformation, World Economic Forum. “City governments are on the frontline of a global crisis and need to be able to act quickly and decisively to curtail this pandemic and set course for their economic recovery. Technology is an essential tool in this fight but governments cannot risk falling into the usual traps related to privacy, security and vendor lock-in. That’s where the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance can help.”

To kickstart adoption of the roadmap, the alliance has recruited a group of 36 “pioneer cities” that will collaborate with global experts to enhance their city policies, in areas ranging from privacy protection and cyber security to better services for disabled people and better broadband coverage.

The pioneer cities are launching their activities today at a global event broadcast by Smart City Expo World Congress, the world’s premier smart cities event. 

List of pioneer cities (in alphabetical order):

•    Apeldoorn, Netherlands
•    Barcelona, Spain
•    Belfast, United Kingdom
•    Bengaluru, India
•    Bilbao, Spain
•    Bogotá, Colombia
•    Brasilia, Brazil
•    Buenos Aires, Argentina 
•    Chattanooga, United States
•    Cordoba, Argentina
•    Daegu, South Korea
•    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
•    eThekwini (Durban), South Africa
•    Faridabad, India
•    Gaziantep, Turkey
•    Hamamatsu, Japan
•    Hyderabad, India
•    Indore, India
•    Istanbul, Turkey
•    Kaga, Japan
•    Kakogawa, Japan
•    Kampala, Uganda
•    Karlsruhe, Germany
•    Leeds, United Kingdom
•    Lisbon, Portugal
•    London, United Kingdom
•    Maebashi, Japan
•    Manila, Philippines
•    Medellín, Colombia
•    Melbourne, Australia
•    Mexico City, Mexico
•    Milan, Italy
•    Moscow, Russia
•    Newcastle, Australia
•    San José, United States
•    Toronto, Canada

“This initiative originated in Japan last year from our Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a fact I’m very proud of,” said Koichi Akaishi, Vice Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation for the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan. “I hope to see more cities participating in the Alliance following the model set by these first pioneer cities.”

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