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THINC Webinar: Cities of the Future

By Team Dreamcities

"The city's economy is getting better, while some people's lives have gotten worse." The current situation in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, as described by the THINC fellow and Deputy Mayor Linda Vakunta, is also a common development challenge for many cities. When we glance at the contemporary metropolis, accompanied by 24/7 accessible services, modern urban issues have emerged: genuine human connection is becoming rare, the division between different groups is growing, and prices for pollution are getting higher......

What does the ideal city of the future look like when we look beyond the horizon? How can a city powered by technology make our work life better?

Our Story

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Creating a sustainable Future of Urban Work & Life














According to  Poon King Wang, head of the Centre for Urban Innovation at Singapore University of Technology and Design, in the future, the boundaries of work in cities will be infinitely expanded by the artificial intelligence-based task skills stack analyzed and processed. The traditional job search and recruitment is limited to a person's profession and past working experience, in which circumstance, bus drivers are only suitable to become courier drivers and truck drivers. But with the support of artificial intelligence, the system will analyze the existing skills of job seekers on the basis of simultaneous simulation of related skills in other fields and combined with the recommendation of new skills learned by the candidate in the short term to create new jobs and opportunities. For example, bus drivers, drone operators and road planners all need to have in-depth familiarity with urban road traffic and experience in safely operating public transportation. Just like the skill tree in a strategy game, the connections between skills and skills are developing, hence creating new opportunities and development space like a snowball.












Did you know this? From 2010-2019, electronics waste has increased by 39% of, but only 20% of electronics are recyclable. 

Maiuran Loganathan, a veteran entrepreneur from Norway, points out that the development of technology has brought great convenience to our lives, but left an unimaginable burden on the environment. While the media and the public are focusing more on sustainable development at the commercial and governmental levels, should we as a general public also take the initiative to adjust our own behavior to help environmental protection and sustainable development? At the same time, commercial organizations and companies should also focus on designing and developing their products and services from an environmentally friendly perspective when pursuing profits.


Beyond Meat, the artificial meat unicorn, is an excellent example of such a business case, creating profits while reducing carbon emissions throughout the process. Maiuran uses this example to call on business organizations to put in substantial effort for the promise of sustainability.

New Solutions to Urban Problems: Smart City














Dr. Youcy Yang, a senior expert from Tencent's smart city solutions, has shared the reflection, evolution and practice of Tencent's Wecity future city.

Tencent Wecity Future City is achieving comprehensive connectivity of cities with its unique C2BG model, landing in many cities across China and facilitating the development of city models with regional characteristics.

As one of the first pilots of Smart Cities in China, Wuhan is the most representative example of Tencent's Wecity Future City. Dr. Yang introduced how Wuhan has been transformed into a Smart City, with Wuhan Cloud as the cornerstone, through data hub, application hub, AI hub and blockchain hub to enable comprehensive perception, intelligent analysis, accurate research and collaborative management. The WeCity Future City is a one-stop service for both citizens and enterprises to interconnect with the city through various smart applications, including urban governance, government services, transportation services, cultural tourism, healthcare and education.






With the integration of IoT, big data, AI, blockchain and other technologies, a convenient, safe, smart and welcoming city is in creation for everyone.  



Equality and Equity: Issues That Can Never Be Ignored in Urban Development


If you have been to the downtown of a city in the United States, you would certainly be surprised by the large number of homeless people, which has arguably become a lingering shadow of American society for many years.








Dr. Linda Vakunta, Vice Mayor of Madison, spoke about the challenges facing the city. The transformation of the entire city into a technology-based industry has meant higher housing prices and rising costs of living. The number of homeless people in the city is increasing, and in the face of this challenge, the city has started to prevent more ordinary people from becoming homeless by gradually increasing the availability of affordable housing and emergency assistance programs to protect those who are unemployed or at risk of becoming homeless.

In response to the existing homeless population, the Madison government has also built a large number of shelters to provide as much basic temporary housing as possible for the homeless. Despite the government's efforts to address Madison's homeless problem, many challenges remain, especially the rising rent that makes apartments less affordable to an average population


In addition to public policy efforts, the power of technology can sometimes make a big difference in urban issues. In London, a software called Street Link is helping thousands of London's homeless get help. Anyone who comes across a street sleeper or suspected homeless person can report their information and address through the software. The platform collects and distributes information and reports it to the government rescue department or relevant charities through AI. This decentralized approach allows everyone to participate in the rescue of homeless people in a much simpler way.  



Conclusion: Towards a human-centered Urban Future

Facing growing and complicated urban issues, we are excited to see and explore how technology has been playing a more and more important role in creating solutions. We hope this webinar will fuel a more substantive discussion on the urban present and future.

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