Content - Session III: AI and the Environment / Smart Cities

AI & the Environment / Smart Cities

Session abstract

Cities are not just a collection of systems and networks; they are made of people, political institutions and social organisations.

This session will look beyond AI technology and performances to address its impact on the governance and social organisation of cities. The objective will be to analyse the impact of these new capacities on specific aspects, namely:

  • The role of political decision-making in a city optimized by AI (city management and city planning);

  • The new business models underpinning autonomous services (i.e. those with no operator), which upscale capacities;

  • The risks and potential benefits of AI with regards the digital divide and social acceptance in cities;

  • The impact of AI on the resilience of cities and people’s dependence on them in their everyday lives (the benefits of augmented intelligence vs. the risks of losing individual abilities);

  • What space is given to creativity and serendipity in an AI-driven city?

This session will put technological opportunities into political and social perspectives.

Finally, participants will highlight the key political and social choices made while developing AI solutions for cities and illustrate how public authorities and the general population can be part of the decision-making process.


Sustainable Living Architecture
Chair: Hiroaki Kitano

AI & Cities: A Governance Issue
Chair: Amélie Cordier

AI offers amazing possibilities not only for optimizing and planning cities but also for providing larger decentralized services such as autonomous shuttles, self-health diagnoses and inclusive interfaces using vocal commands, thereby facilitating access to services and technology. However, while AI increases human capacities, it also raises numerous questions regarding the identity and governance of cities: What is the role of politicians and decision-makers when optimization cannot be the sole ambition? On what “intelligence” is AI modeled and how can it represent the diversity of human thinking? What impact does it have on the resilience of cities and on people’s dependency on technology?

The AI-powered Smart City: Making Cities Smarter & more Secure
Toshihiko Takayama

What makes a city smart? The Smart Cities Council promotes three core values. 1. Liveability: creating cities that provide clean, healthy living conditions without pollution and congestion, and with a digital infrastructure that makes urban services instantly and conveniently available anytime, anywhere. 2. Workability: cities that provide the necessary infrastructure to compete globally for high-quality jobs. 3. Sustainability: cities that provide services without compromising future generations. In this presentation I would like to draw on our own experiences at the Smart Cities Council to illustrate how it is possible for cities to increase labor productivity while creating a safer and more secure environment for the inhabitants.

AI & Cities: A Political Issue
Stéphane Tanguy

Efforts to Harness Open Innovation & Create New Business Utilizing IoT & AI in Yokohama
Hideaki Takagi

There are about 6,000 manufacturing companies in the city of Yokohama and approximately 3,000 IT businesses. By making full use of Yokohama’s economic strengths, namely the "accumulation of manufacturing and IT industries" and new businesses utilizing IoT and AI, we launched "I · TOP Yokohama” (IoT Open Innovation Partners Yokohama) to provide a forum for creation, exchange, cooperation, promotion of projects and human resource development. Various companies and organisations are involved and projects such as IoT smart homes, automatic driving and AI operating systems have been created. We are currently working on demonstration experiments that are attracting much attention.