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Smart Cities – Really Smart or Just Digital?

oikos Alumni Debate on “Smart Cities” announced

The way we live in cities is drastically changing. Under the rubric Smart City innovative technologies rebuild the foundations of housing, mobility and energy. That’s why oikos Associate Christoph Rappitsch has chosen the future of urban living as one research focus. In just a few weeks, on November 15, he will moderate a panel of distinguished oikos alumni in Zurich.

Indeed, the future of cities seems bright: In our homes, smart devices automatically turn off for the purpose of energy preservation. Within the smart grid, power station produce and store green energy and cut emissions, while smart meters meticulously collect client data and let energy producers optimize their supply. Electric cars communicate with each other to reduce traffic jams and accidents, while at night they function as big, mobile batteries for the grid.

In spite of all the great promises of Smart Cities, one should not forget the potential drawbacks. Could life in a Smart City lead to a lack of privacy and 24/7 surveillance? Would hackers be able to control whole power stations and cause a blackout for days? And what about the environmental impacts of constantly updating the soft- and hardware components of the smart infrastructure? And where are the opportunities for the city to become smart – and not just digital?

These questions will be the vantage point of the upcoming alumni debate. To discuss the opportunities and drawbacks of Smart Cities we are delighted to host the following oikos Alumni as panelists:

Annette Kern Ulmer (Head Strategic Projects, ewz; oikos St. Gallen)
Ronny Kaufmann (CEO, SwissPower; oikos St. Gallen)
José Ibarra (Independent consultant; oikos Lausanne)

Christoph Rappitsch (oikos Associate on Digital Economy and Sustainability; oikos Vienna)

Time, data and place: November 15, 2016 at 6pm at LGT Venture Philanthropy, Zurich. To register click here.

For questions email Christoph Rappitsch.