High-level conference 'Digital Cities Challenge: A Strategy for EU Cities in the 21st Century' (5 June, Brussels)

  • knowledge society

'Digital Cities Challenge: A strategy for EU cities in the 21st Century' is the high-level conference organised by the European Commission and the Digital Cities Challenge to showcase the trends that are shaping urban areas in Europe, strengthen the dialogue on the opportunities offered by advanced technologies to transform cities into catalysts of smart and sustainable growth and pave the way for the future strategy for Intelligent Cities in the 21st century.

The technological, social, and economic effects of emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, Internet of Things, blockchain are rapidly changing the world around us. Nowhere is this more evident than in cities – where the density and diversity of human settlement creates innovation-friendly ecosystems that promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. City leadership must be aware and empowered to direct such transformation for the long-term benefit of citizens.

The European Commission’s Digital Cities Challenge initiative drives urban and industrial transformation in 40 European cities and helps them achieve smart and sustainable growth, through four pillars: demonstrating visionary leadership, building thriving local innovation ecosystems, creating new markets based on smart infrastructures, advanced technologies and data and upskilling the city. The initiative offers policy advisory services and coaching opportunities and provides cities with tools and best practices both for assessing current city readiness and moving forward their vision for the future. The cities share a network of collaboration, knowledge sharing and peer learning.

The high-level Conference will discuss the following thematic priorities:

  • Creating sustainable and thriving city-ecosystems, which catalyse the coordinated action to digitally transform their territories
  • Shaping the cities of the future, by investing in high-tech infrastructure, promoting access to technology and open data and acting as testbeds for emerging technologies
  • Upskilling the cities through disruptive education and training, as an essential condition for the industrial modernisation and digital transformation of a territory.

Over 400 expected participants include policy makers, smart city experts, business leaders, clusters and associations, international organisations representatives and academia, among others.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Markku Markkula, first vice president of the European Committee of the Regions and rapporteur for the Digital Europe Programme;
  • Timo Pesonen, director general for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs in the European Commission;
  • Normund Popens, deputy director general for Regional and Urban Policy;
  • Ulla Engelmann, head of unit for Advanced Technologies, Clusters, and Social Economy – DG GROW, European Commission;
  • Piia Wollsten, development manager for the City of Espoo;
  • Christian Tordo, deputy mayor of Nice responsible for digital transformation;
  • Miguel Fontes, executive director of Startup Lisboa;
  • Jan Scheonig, director for Urban Development & Smart Cities at Siemens Global Center of Competence Cities. 

Places are limited, register here.

For more information, please, visit the event webpage.