2020 New Year’s reception – Will the city of tomorrow be shaped by Google?

With smart city projects led by tech giants spreading across cities, La Fabrique de la Cité chose to question the role of these new actors in the economic, social and political dynamics of metropolises on January 30, as part of its 2020 New Year’s reception. This event was an opportunity to discover La Fabrique de la Cité’s new city portrait on Toronto (where Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs is conducting a smart neighborhood project), presented by Marie Baléo, Head of Studies and Publications at La Fabrique de la Cité.

Moderated by Jean-Marc Vittori, editorialist at Les Échos, the discussion on the topic “Will the city of tomorrow be shaped by Google” gathered Chantal Bernier, National Practice Leader, Privacy and Cybersecurity at Dentons Canada LLP, Sébastien Soriano, President of ARCEP (Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques, des postes et de la distribution de la presse), and Cécile Maisonneuve, President of La Fabrique de la Cité.

The highlights of the debate revolved around the political dimension of technology as applied to urban areas, and on the reaffirmation of civic engagement and the power of local democracy against the ambitions of these tech companies. The speakers agreed on the need to find adequate governance and regulation to avoid possible abuses linked to the exploitation of urban and personal data: could these future guardians of digital technology be the cities?

Find here the video of this debate, as well as the yearbook 2019 of La Fabrique de la Cité.

La Fabrique de la Cité

La Fabrique de la Cité is a think tank dedicated to urban foresight, created by the VINCI group, its sponsor, in 2010. La Fabrique de la Cité acts as a forum where urban stakeholders, whether French or international, collaborate to bring forth new ways of building and rebuilding cities.

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