Building Smart Cities with Citizens and for the Public Good: A Symposium

Monday 9th March 2020, 9am-4pm, Sensor City, Liverpool

Against the fitting backdrop of Liverpool’s Sensor City, our Building Smart Cities symposium aimed to inform and advance scholarly debates, public conversation and policy development around the 'smart city' agenda.

Featuring leading academics, policymakers and tech professionals locally, nationally and internationally, the event centred upon the performance, perils, and untapped potentialities of embracing further a 'smart city' agenda. In the age of the 'smart city', municipal leaders everywhere are confronted with the same imperative of harnessing a new generation of smart technology if they are to tackle effectively the most pressing economic, social and environmental problems that face their cities. Yet, whilst the idea of the 'smart city' is one full of acknowledged possibility, the ownership, stewardship and deployment of smart technology have equally provided cause for concern and caution.

Speakers, panellists and attendees addressed a number of pressing questions relating to the 'smart city' concept over the course of the day – including what a citizen-centred ‘Smart Liverpool City Region’ might look like and how, more practically, it might be realised. In support of this work, the Heseltine Institute used the event to launch its own contribution to the debate, a Good Practices Reference Guide by experts BABLE, together with an accompanying Position Statement.

This work, as well as the symposium itself, were funded by the University of Liverpool's Industrial Strategy Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) — the support of which the institute would like to gratefully acknowledge.

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