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WEF chooses Belfast, Leeds and London as global smart cities



Three UK cities are among 36 chosen by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as pioneering smart cities that will work on safely adopting new technology.

WEF has set up the alliance to help provide cities with procedures, laws and regulations to use new technology responsibly as part of its G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance project. The cities, spread across 22 countries, will work with experts on policies in areas including privacy, cybersecurity, services for disabled people and broadband.

“We need to work together to realize the potential of data to solve city challenges by putting it in the hands of those who can make a difference,” said Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer. “But we also need to do it in a way that is safe, ethical and responsible. London is proud to join this global initiative as a pioneer city to promote the adoption of ethical smart city policies.”

“Being part of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance means that each of the partner cities will benefit from expert, tailored insights and policy tools and this collaborative approach will allow us all to make progress in how we govern technology more swiftly and effectively, for the benefit of all our citizens,” added Frank McCoubrey, lord mayor of Belfast.

As well as the three British cities, the WEF has chosen four from both India and Japan. The list includes major cities such as Dubai, Toronto, Mexico City and Moscow as well as smaller ones including Chattanooga in the US state of Tennessee.

The World Economic Forum is non-for-profit foundation based in Switzerland that aims to promote co-operation between the public and private sectors. It is best known for its annual conference held in Davos, a Swiss ski resort.


Image: Belfast City Hall by Wknight94 (own work), CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons


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