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July 20, 2017  |  permalink

NewCities Summit 2017: Songdo Redux

In June, I paid a visit to the instant city of New Songdo for a the first time in nearly decade as part of the annual NewCities Summit, my sixth(!). If you couldn’t make it, videos of each session have just been posted, of which I moderated a pair this year.

The first (above) focused on “Global Connectivity and the Success of Cities,” starring AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes (whose Berluti sneaker game was strong), ENGIE’s Olivier Biancarelli, Aéroports de Paris’s Elisabeth Le Masson, and Kandahar mayor Roshaan Wolusmal. As you might expect, our conversation focused on infrastructure. From the session description: “Second, third and fourth-tiered cities will absorb most of the new urban population, and will therefore hold a great role in their national economies. How can we increase their connectivity to other levels of economy? What challenges do these cities face in accessing global markets? What is the impact of greater connectivity on a city’s planning, infrastructure, economy, and attractivity?”

The second (below), told “the Story of Songdo,” with Gale International’s Tom Murcott, Arup’s Ashok Raiji, KPF’s Elie Gamburg, and former Cisco chief globalization officer Wim Elfrink. Between recapping the project and efforts to subsequent efforts to create cities from scratch that are faster, better, cheaper, perhaps the most notable admission was Elfrink’s candid admission that Cisco’s attempt to build a hardwired smart city had failed — it had been overtaken by the same technologies it had hoped to exploit.

 

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation — where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative  — and the director of strategy for LACoMotion, a new mobility festival coming to the Arts District of Los Angeles in November 2017.

He is also a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, a contributing writer for Fast Company and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

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