-What do you think the future of smart cities will look like in the next 10 years?

There has been immense progress in city science research and smart city-related technology developments in recent years, as well as a  natural selection process by which the most solid ideas and solutions kept growing, whereas other areas affected by hype, but less grounded, have sunk. Within a decade, we may observe exponential growth in the most rigorous knowledge domains and project implementation fields, as well as a more widespread use of the best solutions.


-Do we see any new trends in developing smart cities right now?

Definitely. We can highlight three major trends: first, the ability to capture the advantages provided by AI-fueled digitization to improve urban diagnostics, benchmarking, scenario planning, and recommendations for urban design and systems management decision-making to raise the quality of life of citizens. Second, the integration of data science and automation to perform risk mitigation in managing technology transition processes, for example, towards clean energy systems or sustainable mobility models. Third, there is a nascent yet promising area around citizen participation processes.


-What is the greatest challenge right now when developing smart cities?

The greatest challenge is a cultural one: there is still remarkable reluctance to embrace a combination of traditional, qualitative considerations, with evidence-based, data-driven new approaches and solutions. Hopefully, success stories may help overcome in the coming years such a hesitant attitude often held by critical stakeholders.


-Please tell us about what you work with right now, and what you will talk about when participating at the event Smart City Live?

At Harvard and Aretian we are working on modeling cities and territories as complex systems, to understand complex patterns, and shape city design, economic development, and urban sustainability projects in a successful way. At the Smart City Live event in Stockholm, I will present the most up-to-date insights from our work showing how different city form typologies, and the networks of talent and industries interacting within them, impact  the knowledge economy, and the ability for cities to achieve the 15-Minute City quality standards for all citizens.


-What will visitors learn from your speech at Stockholm Smart City Live?

The visitors will be exposed to advanced city science models, visually describing how the integration of advanced machine learning (science) and traditional urban design techniques (art) illuminate complex urban problems, and help us design more desirable, liveable, walkable urban environments, allowing for the knowledge economy and distributed prosperity for all to flourish.