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About the Event

Moving forward, in an eventual “post-pandemic world,” the question about whether cities will not only survive, but also thrive, is on the minds of business and civic leaders, industries of all shapes and sizes, policymakers, and even average citizens who live amidst urban environments. Although the pandemic has shed light on many of the challenges facing cities, it could also present an opportunity to reimagine what the future of cities could be. Focusing on health, tech, and open spaces could ensure that cities become thriving centers of commerce, academia, transportation, culture, and accessibility—especially since some estimates show that up to 70% of the world’s population could live in urban areas by 2050.

The pandemic is reframing how large companies think about remote work environments for employees; changing how we all consume entertainment, from movies to music to large events; reshaping our commutes and how we get from one place to another; and even allowing us to reimagine how we perform more mundane tasks and chores, like grocery shopping or annual health check-ups. But population density leads to innovation, economic growth, and progress—so how do we ensure that cities remain resilient and enjoyable places to live, work, move, and play?

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia hosted a discussion about the challenges and opportunities for the future of cities here at home and around the world.

About the Speakers

  • Jody Holton, AICP, Assistant General Manager of Planning and Strategic Initiatives, SEPTA
  • Jeff Risom, Partner and Chief Innovation Officer, Gehl Architects
  • Sean S.H. Wang, PhD, President of the International offices of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)

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