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Forum on "Smart sustainable cities: a rising priority for decision-makers"

Reading, United Kingdom, 3 March 2015

Contact: greenstandard@itu.int
SSC

Introduction
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized a forum on “Smart sustainable cities: a rising priority for decision-makers
on 3 March 2015. The forum was followed by the seventh meeting of the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG SSC) on 4-6 March 2015. These events were kindly hosted by Symantec in the Executive Briefing Centre of Green Park, Reading, United Kingdom.
          
Objectives
Cities are an important driver of growth and development in the global economy, representing more than 55% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). Whether it be for commerce, investment, production, jobs, education, better health, social services, enhanced cultural and political participation and much more, cities are hubs of opportunities and allow for more efficient access to services and infrastructure.

By 2050, it is expected that urban areas will home approximately 70% of the world population and that there will be more than 40 megacities, each with a population of at least 10 million. Furthermore, cities are expected to drive nearly 66% of the global economic growth by 2025.

However, this unprecedented and rapid urban growth creates daunting challenges for municipalities, such as additional environmental pressures and growing demand for services, and impacts their ability to effectively manage their citizens’ quality of life. Also, mismanaged urbanization is likely to have deleterious social and environmental repercussions, as well as significant economic costs.

This forum demonstrated how the strategic application of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) can help cities become smarter and more sustainable, by providing digital solutions that enhance the environment, improve quality of life and enable energy efficiency achievements. This forum also leveraged the role of policies and standards in the fostering of smart sustainable cities worldwide.

Target Audience
This forum brought together leading specialists in the field, from city planners to engineers, designers, policy-makers, government officials, regulators, academia, standards experts and others to raise awareness on the role of ICT to build the cities we want.

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