The city of the future is smart and entirely interconnected. It will regulate traffic, save energy, and fight crime, assisted by big data and the internet. But the question arises would we want to live in a smart city?
Cities are home to more than half of the world’s population. This figure is continually increasing, posing significant challenges—more people, traffic, pollution, energy use, water consumption, and waste. Smart cities are expected to assist in dealing with these issues. Projects are spreading everywhere, including Nigeria, South Korea, India, and Malaysia.
A livable city that can think for itself, how does a smart city work? For example, tech companies and urban planners imagine the future smart city, where regular streetlights are replaced by smart poles which connect to more internet of things devices and facilitate lifestyles. Among those planners and visionaries, is Carlos Moreno. Although he is known mainly for his contribution to the 15-minute city concept, he is a scientist and an expert in complex systems.
He is an expert on smart cities and cities in general. As a pioneer in digital and green cities, he thinks cities today are where the majority population lives. We have small and big cities; in all cases, the common point is sharing the same global threats. Considering climate change, it is no longer possible to continue to live the same urban lifestyle. Following his beliefs, he has always probed multiple disciplines and spheres of activity in a wide variety of sectors – education, research, and industry – with the firm conviction that creativity emerges from their interaction. Carlos Moreno pushes for a dramatic transformation of our lives and urban areas, suggesting answers to urban, metropolitan, and territorial concerns.
Carlos Moreno was born in 1959 in Tunja, Colombia. He moved to France as a young political refugee in 1979, at the age of 20, and has resided in Paris ever since. In 1986, he obtained French nationality. When Carlos Moreno arrived in France in 1979, he became a member of the French intellectual and scientific communities. With an engineering background, he enrolled in a university in Paris. He earned his HDR (Ph.D.) in Mathematics-Computer Science, focusing on Robotics, in 1999.
Carlos Moreno is adamant about the critical need for a new level of human connections based on otherness, respect, discussion, exchange, education, and charity. His week-long encounter with the Dalai Lama’s scientific advisor, Samdsong Rinpoche, and subsequently with the Dalai Lama himself in Dharamsala, as part of 40 invited worldwide luminaries, in 2018, helped formulate his recommendations for effect.
Building connections with the world through his career
Professor Carlos Moreno has attempted to connect worlds throughout his career. His considerable work in the high-tech industry developing bridges between governmental institutions, major corporations, and SMEs is motivated by a deep belief in the value of collaboration and a desire to nurture collective intelligence. He promotes synergy through coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders. He is also involved in governmental and commercial innovation and research collaboration projects. As a scientific expert, he has served on various governmental committees, working groups, and public service missions.
As a speaker and scientific researcher, Carlos Moreno is continuously in demand by the media in France and globally to spread his work on science, technology, and urban innovation.
Founding a company focused on intelligent control
In 1998, he founded Sinovia; a company focused on the intelligent control of complex systems with a focus on infrastructure. His business spirit is fueled by his belief in the value of scientific inquiry. Many scientists created the Sinovia technology, which is now utilized to control infrastructures dispersed across multiple sites, answering the demands of local governments and university hospitals. Professor Moreno’s startup began collaborating with INEO in the 2000s, a French industrial giant GDF SUEZ subsidiary, now ENGIE, which purchased Sinovia in 2010. He served as a scientific advisor to GDF SUEZ Vice President Guy Lacroix, President of the FISA business unit, infrastructures and services, and CEO of INEO for five years.
Pact for the future
With the approach to transforming urban cities into much more stress-free and livable environments, Moreno is on his way to making a significant change. Many planners have well received his vision of a 15-minute city. The United Cities and Local Governments, UCLG, invited Carlos Moreno to be one of the five drafters of the strategic vision, the “Pact for the Future,” which was endorsed at the General Assembly in Daejeon in October 2022.
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