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Cities of Tomorrow. New waves of urban migration

If we needed further proof that technology is evolving at a dizzying pace, the SARS-COV-2 pandemic proved that we are indeed much more modern, technical and digital than we ever imagined. Last year, the virtual organisation of such a large conference as “Cities of Tomorrow”, the annual event of the AHK Romania, dedicated to the sustainable development of Romanian cities and regions, would have been considered impossible, perhaps even in the realm of the fantastic. However, today we can talk about an eighth edition of Cities of Tomorrow, which will take place online, on site and virtually from August 25th to September 1st.

The thematic roundtables will take place online on three consecutive days (25, 26 and 27 August). In view of current circumstances and the growing importance attached to the safety of citizens, we will introduce a new roundtable on the topic of City Safety. We have not given up on the other topics that are important for the development of cities: Energy efficiency and energy management, financing and EU funds, city governance / digitalisation / city information platform, mobility, building law, conversion and revitalisation, circular economy, tourism, lifestyle and culture. The format will remain the same as last year: there will be a moderator and a co-moderator, participants will debate on urgent issues and together they will find viable and practical solutions that can be implemented in the short or medium term.

Because travel expenses to Bucharest to take part in the debates won’t be an issue this edition, and given that the roundtables will take place one after the other, this year there will be many more participants at each table and therefore more interaction. The solutions found will thus involve the voice of more representatives of cities and solution-providing companies.

The foyer, which was the central meeting and networking point for the event participants, including the marketplace with the stands of sponsors, local authorities and semi-finalists in the project competition, will of course also exist this year, but virtually. In this Virtual Marketplace, visitors can walk between the stands, they can stop at one or more or all of them if they are interested. Here, participants can interact with exhibitors, download information material, access exhibitors’ business cards and get in direct contact with them. As with the roundtables and the Marketplace, virtual reality offers a great advantage: more time available, more interaction, better structured quality information!

We will be on site on September 1: our guest of honor, Dortmund’s mayor Ullrich Sierau, and the Central Panel dedicated to the dialogue between magnet snd shrinking cities, will be live in the AHK Studio. Participants will be able to ask the speakers questions, interact with each other and, most importantly, vote on the roundtable with the solutions they liked best.

This year, in addition to the already familiar project categories – public administration, business environment and civil society – we have introduced a special category tailored to the challenges we are all currently facing: Public health and/or citizen safety. If you have a project in this category that you would like to promote, please do not hesitate to register here: https://www.citiesoftomorrow.ro/about-the-competition/

Even if such an event seemed impossible six months ago, we are now realizing that technology offers us several advantages that we must gradually, sooner or later, take full advantage of, be it for the successful organization of an event or for the improvement of a city. You can learn more about our virtual world here: www.citiesoftomorrow.ro.

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