Urban digital foresight (taskforce)

  • knowledge society


Which new technologies will our cities most likely be confronted with in the forthcoming years? And how can we, as cities, take a pro-active role in this evolution (as opposed to suffer the consequences)? This is the main question of this taskforce. The Urban Digital Foresight is currently in the starting blocks and is set to last for a period of 2 years.


  • Information-sharing on how to adapt and use emerging technologies (Artificial Intelligence, robots, blockchain…) in cities.
  • Results from private sector and researchers
  • Legal and operational challenges
  • Sharing the results of various urban labs
  • Introduce and discuss the potential of new technological developments, digital mindset and trends.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of the political implications of smart city developments amongst politicians and citizens.
  • Formulate advice for cities to counter risks and lobby for protection.
  • Share and experiment with futures methods (gaming, future workshops…)
  • Backcast to develop a roadmap of what can be done today to prepare various desired ‘futures’ according to cities’ distinct DNA.
  • Shorten the time lapse between the emergence of a technology and the moment a city can adopt it to modernise its administration or the delivery of public services - and do this in a democratic way.


Focus and suggested activities for 2018 and beyond:

  • Yearly overview of emerging technologies and trends for cities
  • Online exchange via an innovation/participation platform starting off with specific use cases
  • Local labs
  • A canvas for assessing the potential of emerging technologies and the different impacts (economic, environmental and social) of deploying such technologies.
  • Toolkit for cities (how to and best practices)
  • Capacity map: overview of the field activities and actors



Chair: Ghent

Vice-chair: Rotterdam