Our firm’s thesis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic predicted populations would shift from urban centers to suburban sprawl due to the development of autonomous vehicles and rapid transit in the coming decade and the increasing usage of distributed teams across leading technology companies.
With the current pandemic, all of this has accelerated, or at least seems to be moving towards our prediction. Where does the “supercities” trend and thesis develop from here? Will work-from-home become a new reality or will the dust settle somewhere in-between? We assume the importance of new technologies will increase in a post-COVID world, but will "smart cities" of the future shift from dense urban centers to a new focus of “smart suburban development”?
Dense cities, such as NYC, were greatly impacted by the pandemic, so will there be increased urban flight or will New Yorkers stay resilient? Over the past few years, major cities, such as NYC and Chicago, have lost tens of thousands in population while suburbs have grown twice as fast since last year. Seoul, Korea has a higher population density with a larger metro population, but was far less affected by COVID-19. How will cities such as Seoul respond to possible changes in global trends?
Our speakers will examine this complex and fluid topic of how the future of smart cities will develop in a post-COVID era, and explore deeper issues such as:
- How will such developments be financed?
- Will this create a wider digital divide? How do we bridge such gaps?
- What regulatory frameworks are needed to protect citizens and not stifle innovation?