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Building Blocks of Urban Wellbeing – NewCities Summit 2017

The NewCities Summit 2017 brought together entrepreneurs, policymakers, and urban innovators from around the globe to share ideas on improving the world’s cities.

GI Quo Vadis was in attendance during the three-day event in ConvensiA Convention Center in Incheon Songdo, South Korea, from June 7-9. The annual summits allow industry experts to collaborate and share research. The theme of this year’s event was “Thriving Cities: The Building Blocks of Urban Wellbeing”.

NewCities is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve life in urban centres around the world. Montreal was home to the 2016 summit; other cities have included Jakarta, Dallas, São Paulo, and Paris since the event began in 2012.

GI Quo Vadis President Natalie Voland was part of a panel titled “Culture, Community and Human-Centered Development” which focused on such ideas as whether economic development and human-centred design can work together. The panel also featured speakers from Mass Studies, Urban Toolbox, and Mossessian Architecture.

Regarding this year’s theme, NewCities says,

“Humans are now an urban species. To truly thrive, cities must increasingly become ecosystems of health and wellbeing, where each part works towards one goal: improving people’s quality of life. Old cities are being refashioned and recast as havens of wellbeing, while new cities are more and more placing people’s wellbeing at their heart from the earliest stages of the planning process. The most successful cities will engage citizens and empower them to harness new economic levers and urban tech to their advantage.” – Thriving Cities, NewCities Summit 2017

The global summit provided a valuable networking opportunity, bringing together some of the world’s great minds. Yaron Schwarcz, the founder of Tridom Labs, is making housing more affordable through new 3D printing technologies. Eve Picker, the founder of Small Change, has created a socially responsible investment platform aimed at transforming cities through real estate. GI Quo Vadis is thrilled to be connected to these and other impressive innovators from around the world and will continue to develop these relationships into the future.

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