BP: Technology is increasingly embedded into the physical infrastructure, operational systems and networks, individual interactions and socio-economic institutions that make up today’s cities. Companies and governments who are developing technologies need guidance on how to design products, services, and platforms to support the equity and welfare of young people - Unicef is uniquely positioned to provide this insight.
DV: Poorer communities must not be forgotten in the development of the smart city. Ensuring the children in low income families are kept safe, healthy, and in education is vital for the sustainability of the city as well as for the individual children.
BP: Current estimates suggest 300 million children live in urban slums, where living conditions are at their worst and opportunities for individual and community growth are severely limited. While local governments must ultimately provide the essential planning policies, services and infrastructure required for any city, we’ve identified a need and an opportunity to harness the potential of collaborative, cross-sector innovations to develop new products and processes to support rapid urbanisation.
DV: While technology has enormous potential, it is not really meeting the needs of those most vulnerable. A major reason for working with Unicef on technology in cities was to highlight to other tech companies the commercial and social opportunities that are not being developed today. The potential for accurate data to transform health services and for information access to improve education is enormous, but issues such as air quality and safety in informal settlements can also be helped by technology solutions.