Tomsk Polytechnic University held the International Scientific Conference “Future of Human Smart Cities in Europe and Central Asia: Challenges and Opportunities” from 8 June 2021.
“I am greeting you within the walls of Tomsk Polytechnic University, the first technical university of the Urals. For 125 years, we have been training over 170,000 engineers. Most of them are engineers, the task of whom is to change the world around them, start new enterprises, make breakthrough decisions, as well as to change the image of the urban environment,” Alexander Fadeev, TPU Vice-Rector for Digital Affairs, addressed the participants of the Conference.
“The unique character of TPU lies in engineering and technical sciences, humanities and social sciences, which are closely intertwined.”
“The most interesting is that our university manages to intertwine deep fundamental science and engineering. Who is a man of science? A man of science is that who studies laws of nature.
“Who is an engineer then? An engineer is that who creates something new that has never existed in the world before. I want to wish everyone to find something personal, something unique at the Conference that will help you to create your service. Above all, working in digital space, don’t forget about a human,” he added.
Among the topics discussed by the experts at the Conference were “Information Technologies Serving Stakeholders and Citizens of Smart City: Urban Digital Platforms, GIS Maps, Electronic Services and Government”, “Impact of Breakthrough Technologies on Society, Assessment of Equipment and Technology, Social Aspects of Robotics”, “Reinterpretation of Smart Human-Centered Transformation of City: Global, National, Local Contexts”.
“Such a topic as smart cities and considerations of the future of smart cities were simply impossible 10 years ago. The fact is that digital technologies became a part of our world. Many people are afraid of it, however, this process is cocksure. Look how everything around us is changing, including everything that refers to the urban environment. For instance, how people call a taxi, buy products today, they do it using digital technologies,” Alexander said.
“Digital technologies are unique due to collecting large volumes of data that allows taking fantastic solutions. For example, digital technologies forecast and suggest to us those goods, which you have not seen before. Today, the forecasting system is increasing sales by three folds on many websites. Think how we can dip into the future, which solutions we can offer, spread your wings when you design the future of our cities,” Alexander added.
The Conference was held in a hybrid mode and gathered together students, young and recognized scientists, urban planners, engineers, architects, Tomsk citizens, representatives of IT companies, cafes, museums, creative spaces and children’s technopark “Kvantorium”, sociologists from Tomsk, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Perm, Tambov, Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Italy, Guatemala, Portugal, Switzerland and Central Asian countries.
“The main point in the section work is focused on that the technologies must be aimed at people, a smart city must serve people. There must not be technologies for technologies, but technologies must be an instrument helping to increase the quality of citizens’ life,” Natalya Goncharova, Associate Professor of the Division for Social Sciences and Humanities of the TPU School of Core Engineering Education, a coordinator of the project, emphasized.
The participants discussed problems and perspectives of modern approaches on research the process of formation of public spaces of urban streets, use of instruments of video content analysis, use of robots in education and a smart city, the impact of digital technologies on elderly people and many others.