On-demand recording: Smart cities, data and technology in a COVID-19 world

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Nathan Jones

Associate Director

With the COVID-19 outbreak spreading rapidly in densely populated areas around the world, cities have had to quickly respond to the pandemic and its consequences, putting new measures in place to ensure the safety of its people.

These efforts to maintain and restore public health, mobility, commerce and contact are drawing on technology and smart cities’ digital infrastructure to analyse what data they can gather. This will help monitor activity and inform decision-making by central and local governments, public health professionals, businesses and the general public alike.


The present crisis has highlighted data’s value and triggered rapid and unprecedented collaboration between partners spanning academia, public and private sector to help resolve today’s complex problems.

Sensors are being harnessed for the good of the public, including tracking people and the virus’ movement. But mass tracking is raising questions around how people can be kept safe and well without moving towards a surveillance society.

Such questions will be resolved by building trust between the city authority, providers of city services and the general public, to ensure systems are privacy preserving and security minded. The priority for the future is to share both knowledge and data to help foster better lives for all.

During this 20 minute on-demand recording, we are joined by two smart city experts, with insights from Governments and authorities globally.

Listen to discover:

  • How COVID-19 will impact smart city agendas
  • What role our digital infrastructure is playing to help tackle COVID-19
  • How data can help build confidence and improve safety for people living and working in cities.

Our guest speakers

Dr Jacqui Taylor, Smart Cities Tsar and Founder of FlyingBinary has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science for her web science work. Jacqui is one of the IoT leaders developing the European Commission Smart Cities Citizen and AI strategy and is also advising the G20 Secretariat on policy directions for the digital economy.

Peter Bjørn Larsen, Director of Smart City Insights Aps. Peter has led smart city strategy and implementation projects, including smart city pre-procurement models in Canada, Denmark, Australia, Finland and Saudi-Arabia. Prior to Smart City Insights, Peter was Director in Hitachi Consulting and part of the Global Smart City Team and was also part of the smart city expert group for the Danish Government.

Further resources

Please visit our COVID-19 response page for all of our resources relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the construction sector.