Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series
#21 – Digital Technology: Underpinning Recovery – July 29, 2020
The importance of digital technology has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis; millions around the world have been forced to work from home, meaning communications infrastructure and practices have been tested; contactless payments are a much more hygienic option than paying by cash or even chip and pin; the spread of facts, advice and even misinformation have been at the forefront of our response and recovery. Digital has been at the center of each of these and many more aspects of the COVID-19 crisis.
While COVID-19 has in many ways stymied development, it has accelerated the use of digital technology. According to Aida Esteban Millet, Senior Director Urban Mobility and Smart Cities for LAC, Visa , growth in e-commerce over the last three months reached levels can be compared to those achieved over the last three years.
Fabien Clavier, Senior Urban Planner Consultant for the World Bank showed how ASEAN cities often combined multiple digital tools to solve complex problems such as contact tracing and matchmaking between service providers and citizens. He pointed out that in many cases, technology is just a complement to human action. Meanwhile, Frank Vieveen, Smart City Program Lead, City of Rotterdam showed how Rotterdam’s proactive digital infrastructure plan enabled a broad ecosystem that proved useful when faced with the Covid19 crisis.
Watch full session here: