Human City Summit

Friday, Sep 7
09:00 — 16:30
Access with wristband

Human City Summit

Cities, Food, Energy,

Summits are one-day gatherings where a diverse group of people come together to discuss the bigger picture, share insights, and challenge best practices. They are invitation-only and have limited seats, so you need to apply to join a summit.

The Human City Summit aims to create tangible solutions for cities based on business model thinking, solutions that could be ready to prototype and scale. Throughout the day we will facilitate a process that will leverage the diversity of people invited to create 2-3 specific initiatives that could be implemented tomorrow. This could be a policy change, a partnering model, a new set of metrics, or a physical project.

The format of the summit is design sprint inspired – attendees will deep-dive into three themes as listed below facilitated by an expert in that field.

Guiding Framework

We are using three key principles to frame the summit from a human perspective. These principles embody a people-first approach that is experience focused and behavior driven.

1. Healthy Neighborhoods
Research shows that our common spaces have the potential to strengthen community bonds and expose people to difference, and that even indirect passive social interactions can foster a sense of belonging. Yet there is a striking difference between health and life expectancy from one neighborhood to the next. In many cities around the world, life expectancy differences can span up to 15 years based on which neighborhood you live in. In order to catalyze better health outcomes, our approach to place is centered around a broader definition of the neighborhood, an everyday term derived from the Scandinavian term “nær bo” – living close.

2. Inclusive Urban Development
Facilitator team: Christine Bjerke, Jack Minchella & Alice Haugh from In-Between Economies

Access to housing provides the infrastructure for inclusive urban development. It influences health, educational attainment, family relationships and neighbourhood safety. And yet we still haven’t found a model for providing affordable access to it in successful urban centres. Whenever we raise the question, we get immediately caught in a dichotomy of public vs. private responsibility. What if there were a third way?

Co-operative housing is nothing new – in fact it’s been around since the 19th century. But the logistical constraints of the model are many – from finding a group of potential residents who want the same thing in the same location at the same time, to acquiring land to build on, to taking out a collective loan, to distributing risk amongst a group, to convincing your municipality to let it happen. At In-Between Economies we have a hunch that digital tools can help us overcome these hurdles, and might even allow the co-operative model to scale up from the block to the city, region or even nation. Together we’ll explore what these tools might be, and how we might make them a reality.

3. Adaptable, Antifragile City Building
Fueled by technology, innovation, and a highly mobile creative sector work force, urban culture is evolving at a rapid pace. Furthermore, in an era where mass population migration is increasing due to climatic changes – cities, districts and neighborhoods need to be not only resilient but antifragile. To become antifragile a city must become much more responsive to shocks to its system both to address the big looming challenges, but also to get more out of infrastructure investments to positively impact everyday life of people.

4. ‘Post-demographic metrics’ in the Human City

When creating measures of issues such as health, inclusion and social cohesion, urban planners are often left with classic demographic statistics. However, the existence of digital traces on e.g. social media open for radically new ways of measuring, visualizing and governing the city. The participants in this workshop will – with the help of researchers from the Techno-Anthropology Lab ( – get to do hands-on experiments with such ‘post-demographic’ data-analysis. More specifically, this cross-thematic workshop will try to translate the ideas from the rest of the Human City Summit into small visualizations that can inform or provoke the work done in the other groups. For short video-introductions to the work of TANTLab follow these links:

The Program

  • 9:00 – 9:15 Introduction and welcome by Jeff Risom
  • 9:15 – 10:00 Panel discussion with facilitator group
  • 10:00 – 10:15 break
  • 10:15  – 11:15 – Idea generation in thematic working sessions (this is where the participants will break into groups of six, one of which will be facilitated by you). Ideas and solutions are generated for 1 topic
  • 11:15- 12:15 – Introduce business model to reduce number of ideas into viable ones – 3-6 ideas
  • 12:15 – 13:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 – 14:00 Create a business model draft for 3 concepts per group
  • 14:00 – 14:45– Coffee and cross group presentation – vote on which idea to develop in more detail
  • 14:45 –16:30 – All groups work on their selected idea
  • 16:30 – 17:00 Presentation of concepts

About the host

Jeff Risom

As the Chief Innovation Officer at Gehl, Jeff has worked with both public and private clients as well as non-governmental organizations in Europe, the USA, Latin America, India and China. Jeff’s background and design experience provides him with a unique insight into the technical, as well as social aspects of urban design. Jeff is an active teacher and lecturer, speaking at conferences around the world.

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