Smart Cities

Smart Cities: Utopia or Dystopia?*

Date: Time: 13:00 Location: Cz 120, Cobbenhagen Building, Tilburg University

The 2010s have been all about Big Data and Data Science; the 2020s might just be the decade of Smart Cities and the re-imagining of our urban environments. Event about the development and future challenges of creating Smart Cities. (language: English)

Time: 13:00-17:00 hrs. 
 Admission is free, but registration is required. See also Facebook.

Please register here

The impact of data science to our urban lives

New technologies and data science methods allow companies and governments to impact our lives in a number of ways. In the next few years, it seems that urban environments in particular will be developing faster than ever. Most of the initiatives concerning Smart Cities use information- and communication technologies to optimize safety, mobility and sustainability. In other words: if these technologies are implemented properly, we will all benefit.

Who will benefit?

So the question is how to implement properly: how do we set up Smart Cities in such a way that we create value from data for all stakeholders? Or is it perhaps a little too utopian to believe that we can build a Smart City where governments, companies and individual residents of the city are all winners? Can we have our cake and eat it?

Moreover, with Smart Streets, Smart Sidewalks and Smart Shops, who is really getting smarter? The people, the government, or the already increasingly powerful tech companies?

Make the gains outweigh the costs

If recent experiences with technological advances have taught us anything, it is that there is always a cost. More data collection may perhaps offer governments the opportunity to enforce public safety, it may allow companies to offer better and more customizable service, but it also puts our personal privacy and freedom at risk. In the case of Smart Cities, how can we make the gains outweigh the costs?

Recent developments & future challenges

Join us at our symposium on February 5, where various professors, researchers and industry specialists give us their take on the recent developments and future challenges of creating Smart Cities.


  • Academic Forum - Achilleas Psyllidis

    Achilleas Psyllidis

    Assistant Professor TU Delft

    Achilleas Psyllidis is Assistant Professor in Location Intelligence and Spatial Analysis at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He is also Head of the Social Urban Data Lab at AMS Institute, and is further affiliated with the Center for BOLD Cities, the Joint Research Center for Spatial Information, and the Joint Research Center for Urban Systems and Environment. His current work focuses on data-driven and theory-informed approaches to characterizing places and people’s activities, experiences, and interactions.

  • Academic Forum - Ingrid Janssens

    Ingrid Janssens

    Partner at Republiq / ass. prof. Tias Business School

    Ingrid Janssen is partner at Republiq, and is associate professor at TIAS Business School. She advises stakeholders in the built environment on how to improve decision making on spatial investments with data. Republiq helps stakeholders (e.g. local and regional governments, housing associations) to make better decisions when it comes to a sustainable and livable urban environment. We use open data sets to develop decision support tools for strategic decision making. In this presentation we show some appealing examples from our own advisory practice.

  • Academic Forum - Alex Donkers

    Alex Donkers

    PhD TU/e - Smart Two

    Alex obtained a PhD-position in October 2019, researching Digital Twins. He is part of SMART Two, a research collaboration between Royal KPN and TU/e. Alex Donkers will share his supervision on smart cities – Digital Twins – which aims to destroy the organizational silos and create an interconnected digital environment of data, leading to cross- and trans-sectoral innovation. The Digital Twins enable us to perform better analytics, decision making and ideation in smart cities. To do this, systems theory and semantic web technologies are being introduced.


This event is organized by Academic Forum and Data Science Association Pattern.

Contact: Annelieke Koster (Academic Forum).

* This event may count towards the Academic Forum Certificate.