More than half of the world’s population currently lives in cities; by 2030, two-thirds of the population will be urban dwellers and by 2050 it is estimated that over 70% of the world’s population will live in cities.
This trend matters because urban areas are the prime drivers of economic growth: industrial and commercial activities in urban centers account for 50%-80% of GDP in most countries. Inevitably, this rapid expansion is putting cities’ infrastructure, environment and social fabric under pressure (e.g., challenges like pollution, inequality, immigration, just to name a few).
Some cities are addressing these challenges proactively, improving the quality of life of the community. Conversely, other urban areas that were careless about the needs of a growing population see their urban infrastructures are collapsing. At the same time, rapid urbanization brings major implications for businesses as they refocus their offerings, marketing and distribution towards an increasingly urban customer base with distinct needs and consumption habits. In this session we will address the following questions:
1. How are cities embracing global challenges?
2. Why are some cities considered “smart”?
3. What is smart governance and why is it important?
4. What are the business opportunities in the process of reinventing cities? What are the new opportunities arising from lifestyles shaped by rising population density?