Research & Innovation

Chinese and Italian academicians share views on smart cities

28 September 2021

The Forum on International City Governance, hosted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), was held on 17 Sept. 2021. The forum emphasized how to build smart cities that not only have new technologies, but also be human-centered. Italian and Chinese experts gathered on- and offline to share their views and experiences from various perspectives.

Initiated by SASS and with full support from elite Italian university Politecnico di Torino (Polito), this forum has been regarded as a starting point of a long term and ambitious cooperation between the two principal institutions that conducting high-quality research on smart and human-centered city. SASS and Polito have already established a cooperation with a solid foundation since 2018.

"The research on smart cities requires a strong integration between humanities and technology among social science, engineering, and architecture. I hope that our respective experts in these fields can get to work as soon as possible to build a joint research program, training initiatives, projects with real effects on society and market.” Prof. Guido Saracco, Rector of Polito, said in his conclusion remarks to the forum.

Professor Wang Dezhong, President of SASS, made the opening remarks and said, cities of the two countries have built experiences on being smart, but challenges are emerging. We must acknowledge that we are easily trapped in the grip of technique during our way to a smart city. The emotional needs and welfare of human beings should always be kept in mind and attached great importance when enjoying the convenience that informatization brings to us.

Michele Geraci, a professor at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, and former undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, and Guo Changgang, Director of the Institute of History at SASS, gave their keynote speech. Professors Alessandro Arduino, Michele Bonino, Huang Changyong, Hui Zhibin, Roberto Pagani, Tu Qiyu and others from both China and Italy delivered their speeches focusing on the topics “Crisis Management in Smart Cities” and “Spaces and Connections in Human-Centered Cities”.

The forum was co-organized by Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Think Tank Foundation.