Aside the frequent factors of distress in Rio de Janeiro (weather extremes and social inequality), the upcoming Worldcup (2014) and the Olympic Games (2016) figure as two major “rare events” that require huge investment, preparedness for this positive exogenous shock, and a long-term plan for sustainable development. Both events will leave an irreversible mark and represent a unique opportunity for optimisation as well as considerable risks for the urban system. The DLDcities roundtable in Rio will put an emphasis on how (1) mega-events change the urban system, (2) how ICT and smart systems can contribute to that, and (3) addresses the questions of how to tap into specific local qualities (informal sector, culture, creativity) to enhance all facets of resilience. We are expecting hundred plus top-level participants from business, arts, and culture. The roundtable and keynote will be followed by dinner and drinks at the magic Santa Tereza Hotel.
7.00 pm Reception
8.00 pm Keynote
8.15 pm Panel
9.00 pm Dinner and Drinks
In our new, urbanized world all problems of society ultimately converge in the city. The repercussions of the economic crisis, the ecological negligence, the political climate, large-scale migration - you name it - are felt by anyone in the city. We believe that cities are more than just the reflection of the current state of the world; they are a seismograph of what there is yet to come, the hotbed for innovation and avant-garde thinking, and the arena in which we can take on the challenges of rapid urbanisation.
In just a few decades, up to 80% of the world’s population will be living in major cities. Issues like sustainability, pollution, infrastructure and energy consumption will be crucial. Obviously, neither there is such a thing as a typical megacity nor a panacea to meet the challenges. A city like New York will develop in a completely different way from Frankfurt am Main, Mumbai or Mexico City. Most attributes are sticky to location, however patterns overlap and dialectic analysis and cross-fertilisation of ideas are powerful.
The city is not the problem - it is our opportunity. “The city talks back,” says the sociologist Saskia Sassen. We want to listen and enter this conversation, we want to learn and figure out how we can face the challenges and seize the possibilities.
With the rise of new technologies our cities, buildings, and objects communicate with us extensively. We - the companies, the governments, the people - are in this together. Interdisciplinarity is key and all stakeholders are interwoven. Architects should be interested in biosynthetic materials, energy companies should care about window farming, designers should be technology companies and vice versa. After all: Discovering how to make better, "smarter" cities, is working on a better future.
The first DLDcities conference took place in September 21, 2012. Together with our long-term partner Siemens, the one-day conference served as inauguration for the world leading Sustainability & Urbanism exhibition at the Crystal in East London, and as kick-off for an on-going crossover conversation on the collective creation of cities.