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Editorial

Towards smart cities

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In a smart city, new technologies are put at the service of the well-being of its inhabitants.

Water security, sanitation, urban violence, inequality, discrimination, pollution, unemployment. In a world where urbanization is burgeoning, these are some of the critical challenges that cities will have to face. Home to half the world’s population today, cities are expected to shelter two-thirds of it by 2050.

Born in the early 2000s, the concept of the smart city seeks to provide answers to these challenges by combining new technologies with humanist ideals. Through innovative urban systems, smart cities promote socio-economic development while enhancing the quality of life.

Huge opportunities are opening up with smart cities. But to be effective, this “smartness” must adopt a humanistic approach, and leave no one behind. This is the key message of the new publication Smart Cities: Shaping Societies for 2030, co-edited by UNESCO and the Netexplo Observatory, and presented at the 12th Annual Netexplo Forum, 17 to 19 April 2019, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

To evaluate the contribution of smart cities to sustainable growth, UNESCO and the World Technopolis Association (WTA) jointly organized the 15th WTA H-Tech Fair and the 2018 Global Innovation Forum in Binh Duong New City, Viet Nam, in October 2018. Under the theme "Towards a better place to live: Smart City", sustainable development strategies and policies were discussed, and technological solutions to various urban problems were proposed.

Read also:

A Journey through Smart Cities: between Datapolis and Participolis (English and French, 2015).

Back to the article: Editorial by the Director-General