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World Economic Forum to lead global smart cities alliance

The alliance will unite municipal, regional and national governments as well as private sector partnerships and citizens around a shared set of guiding principles on tech governance.

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The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance will establish universal guidelines and norms
The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance will establish universal guidelines and norms

The World Economic Forum (WEF), the international organisation for public-private cooperation, has been appointed secretariat of a new G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance.

 

The alliance seeks to unite municipal, regional and national governments, private-sector partners and cities’ residents around a shared set of core guiding principles for the implementation of smart city technologies.

 

Greater openness and trust

 

Currently, there is no global framework or set of rules in place for how sensor data collected in public spaces, such as by traffic cameras, is used. The effort aims to foster greater openness and trust as well as create standards for how this data is collected and used.

 

According to WEF, this marks the first time that smart city technologies and global technology governance have been elevated to the main agenda.

 

“This is a commitment from the largest economies in the world to work together and set the norms and values for smart cities,” said Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum.

 

“We will coordinate efforts so that we can all work in alignment to move this important work forward. It is important we maximise the benefit and minimise the risk of smart city technology so all of society can benefit, not the few.”

 

WEF said it will coordinate with members from the G20, Urban 20 and Business 20 communities to develop new global governance guidelines for the responsible use of data and digital technologies in urban environments.

"It is important we maximise the benefit and minimise the risk of smart city technology so all of society can benefit, not the few”

The Internet of Things, robotics, and smart cities team in the forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network will take the lead and ensure accountability throughout the alliance’s members.

 

“Local governments and city leadership need to be at the core of decision-making when developing smart cities, continued Emilia Saiz, secretary general of United Cities and Local Governments.

 

“It is the guarantee to ensure the human dimension and the protection of the commons. United Cities and Local Governments is delighted to contribute in every way possible to that process and to transform the conversation around digital rights.”

 

“The Cities for All Network is excited to partner with the World Economic Forum and the G20 to help realize our shared vision for a more inclusive urban future,” added Victor Pineda, president of World Enabled and co-founder of Smart Cities for All.

 

“The last industrial revolution left out a lot of people. As we move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we cannot risk repeating past mistakes. We need to work together to co-design robust policy frameworks to ensure that all members of society can contribute to and benefit from technological advancements.”

 

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