MacKay Hannah

Rethinking Smart Cities and City Regions After Coronavirus

Tue 16th Mar 2021

OVERVIEW View Webinar Agenda

This webinar will discuss the immediate and long term effects of coronavirus upon our cities and city-regions with a focus on the potential of data, the meaning of smart cities post-Covid and approaches to smart city region economic recovery in the key engines of our economy.

How are pre-coronavirus challenges such as digital, net zero, growth, infrastructure development, and placemaking reframed by the advent of coronavirus? Does recent experience demand new thinking on how our cities function economically, as living spaces and in relation to their wider city-region? Has coronavirus not just reshaped previous challenges but also revealed new demands and challenges to traditional ways of living, working, moving and developing?

As in every other context of life, cities and city-regions have seen profound changes as a result of the impact of coronavirus. Transport systems disrupted, workplaces mothballed, economic activity suspended, retail diminished and the pulse of everyday life limited by lockdown, social distancing and newly acquired behavioural habits. Will these changes have lasting impact for the shape and rhythm of cities and city-regions or will ‘new normal’ just be a different version of business as usual? How should our cities and city-regions be thinking and planning for the immediate and long-term consequences?

Dr Simon Joss will discuss cities and city-regions in the post-coronavirus age. Alex Tosetti will reflect upon where smart cities and city-regions are heading in ‘new normal’. Jonathan Guthrie will examine how cities and city-regions can respond innovatively to the economic challenge.

Key Points

  • Cities and city-regions after coronavirus: Interrupted, disrupted or ‘new normal’?
  • ‘New normal’ – A journey or a destination?
  • The role of data and technology in smart cities post-coronavirus
  • How should thinking, planning and delivery be reframed for what comes next?
  • Does coronavirus deter or accelerate change and which policy focus should have primacy?
  • What do our city economies and their regions need?
  • Thinking innovatively about partnership in promoting economic recovery
  • Moving from waiting for what comes next to shaping what comes next


Hannah Smith

Director, ICE - Scotland, Institute of Civil Engineers

Professor Simon Joss

Professor of Urban Futures (Urban Studies), School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow

Alex Tosetti

Chief Commercial Officer, VU.CITY

Jonathan Guthrie

Director Public Sector Partnerships, Scotland, Robertson

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Not much in-house for PA's re training so thought this would be worth attending as it seemed a good "itinerary" for the day. I feel I will go away with some pointers for sure. All speakers were excellent Highlight to see baby monkey and panda viewing - Thank you for that and an enjoyable day.

Angela Gibson - Scottish Government,
Delegate at ACES 2016