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Making cities smarter

UD symposium focuses on smart cities, sustainable energy, global South

Chances are you know the difference between a smartphone and ... that other kind. But what makes a city smart? And how is such a place developed and managed?

Those questions are on the agenda when the University of Delaware hosts a two-day Smart Cities & Sustainable Energy symposium Nov. 28-29 at Trabant University Center Theatre. The symposium title is "Creating Smart City Solutions to Problems of 21st Century Urbanization."

With the rapid growth of urban areas worldwide, it is essential to find ways to manage resources and development in sustainable ways. Cities now consume more than 70 percent of the world's energy and produce about 80 percent of its carbon-dioxide emissions.

Improving life in these areas will require assessing many factors, including buildings, transportation, energy and governance.

This symposium will focus on urban areas, especially in regions sometimes called the global South, including parts of Latin America, Asia, Africa and developing states on small islands - where cities aspire to smarter solutions despite persistently inadequate resources and services.

Experts from UD will be joined by those from the International Finance Corporation, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, Harvard Business School, the Delaware Department of Transportation, Rutgers University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the World Resources Institute, the State University of New York, Temple University, National Taiwan University in Taipei and Fordham University.

The participants will discuss big data technology, innovative financing, smart-city policy and related topics to raise awareness of current initiatives, evaluate the role of technology, the Internet of Things and sustainable energy and work toward consensus on the essential features of democratic smart city governance.

Organizing Committee Co-Chairs are Lawrence Agbemabiese, associate research professor and acting director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, and Nii Attoh-Okine, professor of civil engineering in the College of Engineering.

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