Urban enthusiasts gathered for the Future ICT for Sustainable Cities Forum at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru. The forum provided a platform to discuss the role of Information and Communication Technologies in shaping sustainable cities and addressed the implementation challenges, with the ultimate objective of improving the quality of life of citizens.
The Forum brought together specialists from Europe and featured renowned speakers from Indian Space Research Organization ISRO, Subex , Altran, Bosch and Wipro . Across the various sessions at the Forum, speakers presented a snapshot of the most transformative ideas shaping our cities. The key technologies discussed include geo spatial technologies , open city data and blockchain among others.
There were over 180 delegates including city representatives, smart city solution providers, start-ups, foreign experts, trade commission representatives, researchers and academia. The sessions provided attendees to interact with one another in informative and informal settings, to promote in-depth technical interactions, exchange of opinions, and networking.
Mr. Sebastien Hug, Consul General of Switzerland, Bengaluru in the inaugural session highlighted the importance of data generated in cities and how data collection and analysis help improve services and liveability for citizens.
Cities have started to develop digital strategies to ensure that the digital economy is a high priority, and more importantly to move their digital planning and policy making approach from ad hoc to an integrated and strategic one that utilises the potentials of the digital economy in their social, spatial and economic planning. This trend was reiterated by the German Deputy Counsel in Bangalore – Mr. Karl Ehlerding, as he also highlighted the increased focus the ICT sector was receiving in Germany and Europe at large.
Dr. VS Hegde Former CMD, Antrix Corporation Limited highlighted the importance of ‘Spatial data’ and analytics in effective planning and monitoring of cities to ensure that cities can constantly make efforts to improve on the sustainability index.
“A collaborative and open approach to sharing city data, to ensure that multiple stakeholders can contribute to the sustainability and liveability in cities” was highlighted by Mr. Jose Jacob K, Senior advisor – Bavarian Indian Centre for Business and University Collaboration- BayIND and co-organiser of the forum. Prof. Bharadwaj Amrutur, Professor – Indian Institute of Science [IISc] gave an overview of the IUDX platform and framework for sharing of city level data which is currently being developed by IISc in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs [MoUA].
A key partner for the forum was the FuturICT 2.0 project, which is an international European project with the goal to find ways to understand and manage complex, global, socially interactive systems. Mr. Stefan Klauser, representing the FuturICT 2.0 introduced the Climate city Olympics initiative and how citizens and Citizen welfare groups can collaborate to contribute to measure, mitigate and manage climate change and work together to make cities of the future more sustainable.
Ms. Riccarda Stampa, Project Lead Digital Management, City of Aarau, Switzerland also highlighted the key digitalization initiatives in her city and the challenges and opportunities in driving a multi-stakeholder approach to implementing ICT projects in the context of cities. Ms. Elisabeth Vögele, Manager for Business and University relations at BayIND highlighted the various industry-academia collaborations facilitated by the Bavarian Indian centre to create collaborations among stakeholders in the smart city initiatives and projects in India.
The Forum aims to become a key platform for forging powerful international partnerships and deliberate about the best practices in ICT for cities.
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