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Great Success at the International Conference of City Sciences in Santiago de Chile

Great Success at the International Conference of City Sciences in Santiago de Chile
Great Success at the International Conference of City Sciences in Santiago de Chile

Last week, Santiago de Chile held the 2nd International Conference on City Sciences, an event organized by MCS, the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid, the Universidad de Desarrollo de Chile and the Tongji University in Beijing, with the support of Telefónica I+D and Corfo.

Last week, Santiago de Chile held the 2nd International Conference on City Sciences, an event organized by MCS, the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid, the Universidad de Desarrollo de Chile and the Tongji University in Beijing, with the support of Telefónica I+D and Corfo.

At this conference we talked with practitioners and academics about how to use new perspectives on infrastructure and technology with sustainable and participative innovations. We saw a very different point of view from the traditional concept of Smart Cities- the marketing and promotion of technology-based sales without thorough research of real, pressing problems for cities and citizens or the most effective solutions.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to enjoy a lecture by physicist and professor of complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute, Luis Bettencourt, who has created interdisciplinary models to describe urban phenomena in a quantitative and predictable way. 

In addition, Belinda Tato, from the Spanish company Urban Ecosystem, explained the development of her latest project: a series of public spaces that are tempered by real green machines that not only provide shade, but also capture CO2. Another participant in the event was the famous and prestigious Russian architect Yury Grigoryan, who has applied methods of urban analysis and is now responsible  for the recovery of the Moscow River, the largest urban project the city has undertaken since the Soviet revolution.

Apart from Bettencourt, Tato and Grigoryan, thirty worldwide researchers dedicated to the implementation of solutions to urban problems attended, such as Tong Ming (Urban Planning professor at Tongi University) or José María Ezquiaga (professor of Urbanism at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid since 1995).

Thus, the main themes heard during the conference dealt with:

•    Innovations for infrastructures and services of relevance in an urban context: broadband, wireless, sensors, data, energy, transport, housing, water, waste and environment.
•    Urban landscape as a new infrastructure.
•    Smart city developments and cases, in particular those that are people-centred.
•    Social and economic citizen-centric innovations.
•    Platforms for both top-down and bottom-up innovations.
•    Collaborative innovations to address urban challenges.
•    Other topics included green roofs, community gardens, and urban pollution.

Furthermore, the students of MCS had leisure time to enjoy the beauty of Chile, a fabulous country with innumerable inspiration for their work. We visited Valparaiso and took a tour around Santiago to see some of the most interesting places in the city (from a Smart Cities point of view). On the last day, our students presented some of their papers, together with other experts in the field: “How the Fifth Generation Network Will Impact our Cities”, by Lorenzo Massimiano, Thibaud Dubrule, Ana Gavilanes and Iria López, “Open Data Portals Assessment of Spanish Cities”, by Javier García López and Javier Dorao, “Sustainable Urban Freights”, by Juan Pablo Moreno, “A Social Media Data-Based Platform for Urban Data Analysis”, by Marcos Manuel Muraro, “The Eruption of Airbnb in Heritage Cities”, by Gustavo Romanillos and last but not least, the “Reorganization of the Modus Working in Society”, by María Sastre, Ana Gavilanes and José Antonio López.

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