Alumni workshop Mumbai: Smart cities - Defining the city of the future

This is an alumni workshop event taking place in Mumbai, India

Gary Dymski
Professor of Applied Economics
Leeds University Business School

Smart cities: Defining the city of the future

The idea of ‘smart cities’ cuts two ways: does it mean the application of robotics, AI, and other cutting-edge technologies to build automatic lives where all basic needs are pre-programmed? Or does it mean a dystopic surveillance society in which privacy has died and technology is primarily used to protect the assets of the privileged classes? Both visions make the blood run cold. But how to do we get a handle on the real challenge: that is, how can we live together in peace and prosperity, in communities where every person's voice is valued, by taking advantage of – and not being victimised by – advances in technology?

Professor Gary Dymski, Professor of Applied Economics at Leeds University Business School, explores research (at Leeds and elsewhere) on how to create socially, environmentally and economically sustainable cities. Key insights are that cities are, first of all, complex, interactive systems; second, they reflect inherited inequalities of income and resources, even as their dynamics transform them; third, they are part of a macro-meso-micro dynamic, so that policy choices at the macro level affect outcomes at the local level.

At Leeds, we are involved in studies examining the resilience of infrastructure, low-carbon transformation, more circular systems of provisioning, and the creation of thriving and vibrant local communities. The keys to achieving these outcomes is to focus on defining and retaining local value, insuring non-exploitative finance, widening pathways of knowledge and capability enhancement, and enabling the co-production of new initiatives with local stakeholders.

This discussion will review the past, present, and future of smart city thinking, and set out both the possibilities for this transformation and the unsolved problems we face.

Guests will also have the opportunity to reconnect with fellow alumni in a relaxed environment.

There is no charge for this event but places are limited and offered on a first come first serve basis.

Students who have applied to study at the University of Leeds will also have the opportunity to attend this event. We hope that alumni will be able to offer first-hand knowledge, advice and expertise to applicants and help answer any questions that they may have about living and studying in Leeds, during the networking session.

Members of the British Business Group (BBG) in India will also be attendance. The BBG promotes business between India and the UK.

Event format

19:30 Registration
20:00 Workshop and lecture
21:00 Networking and refreshments
22:00 Close

For further information, please contact Rhys Gillard at