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Science & Technology Series: Announcements

Engineering tomorrow's megacities

City, University of London celebrates the annual Clerkenwell Design Week by hosting one of its Fringe Events and a Follow-Up Workshop on the theme of MegaCities 2050.
by John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer)

City, University of London's School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering (SMCSE) will stage one of this year's Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) Fringe Events, themed, “MegaCities 2050”, in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre on May 22nd, from 6 to 9pm.

The annual festival celebrating the innovative work of Clerkenwell’s Design Quarter - now in its tenth decade - runs from May 21st to 24th.

SMCSE will also host a MegaCities 2050 Follow-up Workshop from 12:30 to 5:30pm in ELG01 on May 23rd.

These events coincide with City's125th anniversary.

City, University of London, a member of the World Cities, World Class (WC2) Network, is located in the heart of the UK capital.

London is considered to be the world's leading metropolis for business, finance and culture. 

Thought-leadership event

Distinguished speakers from London, New York and Barcelona will give informed and informative talks on this theme.

Dr Joan Clos is a physician with a distinguished career in public service and diplomacy. He was Mayor of Barcelona from 1997 until 2006. Professor Kevin Hom is the Dean of Technology and Design at the City University of New York. His expertise focuses on design and includes research, medical, library and athletic projects. Ben Rogers is a writer and policy thinker, with a particular focus on cities, citizenship, social capital, public service reform, and the built environment.

SMCSE Dean, Professor Rajkumar Roy spoke to City News about the University’s involvement in this year's CDW.

City News: How did City come about devising the theme, 'Megacities 2050'?

Professor Rajkumar Roy: City is working to address megacity challenges, such as space utilisation, the cyber security of large communities and mobility solutions. Our research and education programmes support the City of London in collaboration with our strategic industry partners, local government organisations and charities. Solving future challenges for London is a major focus for the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. 125th year celebration of the university is enforcing our contribution to the civic life, infrastructure and culture. We are building on our history through the World Cities World Class (WC2 Network). The network brings together top universities located in major world cities in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing urban areas. This thought leadership event, as part of the Clerkenwell Design Week, brings together experts from New York, Barcelona and London to share good practice and tries to predict the challenges in 2050.

CN: How can City contribute to the transformation of London into a megacity of the future?

PRR: Megacities of the future will evolve with lifestyle changes. Our value system will change and define what is a ‘good’ quality of life. With an increasing population and longer lives, better utilisation of space above and below ground will become even more relevant. Technological innovation will change our homes and how we live. The emerging Internet of Things will generate new cyber security threats which will affect our future urban mobility solutions using autonomous vehicles. City academics and students can make a difference in London and other megacities through research and skill acquisition.

CN: The speakers for the event span the fields of political administration, technology and public policy. What were your motivations in selecting them?

PRR: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skill sets are essential for the solution of complex challenges in megacities such as London. Cities in the developed and developing parts of the world share technological and social challenges, and a few unique characteristics. It is necessary that we learn from other major megacities, such as New York and Barcelona. The keynote speakers are well known experts and have wide-ranging expertise around challenges in these megacities, along with a few others around the World. On May 23rd, we host a detailed workshop towards the realisation of research outcomes.

CN: As City celebrates 125 years of being the only university in the Clerkenwell neighbourhood, how can we make more of an impact on this area of London?

PRR: City is bringing together experts and enthusiasts to challenge the status quo within megacities and brainstorm about long term challenges facing such metropolitan centres. Our events are trying to reconnect various stakeholders with each other and raise public awareness. The outcome of our workshop will influence future research and education directions for the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering (SMCSE) and empower staff and students to get more engaged in fulfilling their civic contributions towards London.

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