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AI for Good Global Summit

Side Event on Building People-Oriented Cities Through Digital Transformation



This side event was jointly co-organized by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Ministry of Digital Governance,​ Greece, Austrian Economics Center, UN-Habitat and U4SSC Country Hub – Austria. 


The world is undergoing rapid urbanizing, with more than 50 percent of the world's population living in urban areas. At the same time, as the world is entering the digital era, Big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and connectivity are shaping the future of our cities and societies. Digital transformation is increasingly becoming the focus of strategic thinking and planning of many cities and communities. The process of digital transformation emphasizes on how digital services and applications will change the urban landscape and transform inhabitants' experience of life and well-being. Furthermore, digital technologies have the potential to serve people, improve public services and infrastructure to help cities on their path to becoming smarter and more sustainable. Smart sustainable people-oriented cities can be an inclusive force for driving digital transformation and have a tremendous positive impact on people's lives.

The objective of this side event was to directly address and highlight the promising developments in science, technology and innovation for accelerating progress towards to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 17 on “Partnership for the Goals". This side event explored STI solutions that can be leveraged to provide support to cities and communities and how they can be scaled up quickly to accelerate digital transformation across the globe. This side event also highlighted what cities and countries are doing to improve capacity for applying STI for the SDGs, including managing rapid technological transitions. 

Target audience:
The side event was directed to countries, cities and organizations interested in learning about the key opportunities of implementing smart sustainable city initiatives to strengthen smart and sustainable city endevours and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Participants learnt about case examples of how digital transformation is building smart sustainable cities of the future. 

The side event​ was held in English via WHOVA Platform. 


12:00 – 12:05

Opening remarks
12:05 – 13:25
Session 1: Building people-oriented cities 

Moderator: Barbara Kolm​, Director, Austrian Economics Center & Vice President, Austrian National Bank​​​
Questions & Answers
13:25 – 13:30
Closing remarks