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This event took place on Wednesday 7 June 2023
We are proud to present the Inaugural Professorial Lecture of Professor Katharine Willis.
How might we live in cities in the future? Cities and technology are intrinsically linked. In fact, many large cities are defined by how they connect, and are connected, through different forms of technology. But cities are also places that sustain communities and civic society. 
In her inaugural lecture, Katharine will share with us her insight into ways we might live in the future and how this might be in more localised and inclusive urban settings – connected neighbourhoods. Using an approach called digital placemaking, Katharine will discuss how technology can enable us to connect to the places that we live in and how this might develop in the future. 
Professor of Smart Cities and Communities, Katharine Willis is a leading expert in how new technologies can help create inclusive environments in which people and communities can engage with the places that they live. Katharine’s research identifies the need to take a place-based approach when developing smart cities; ensuring that the design and deployment of new technologies works for setting local civic and infrastructural priorities.
Her earlier work recognises that developing smart cities can certainly be of benefit to urban communities but that providing the technical infrastructure alone is not enough. Many people, particularly in more deprived communities, remain digitally excluded, leaving them limited or unable to participate fully in society. Although technology is a solution to drive urban areas forwards, care must be taken not to exclude the very people, communities and places it is intended to help.  
There was an opportunity at the end for Katharine to answer your questions in a live Q&A.
You are welcome to join us for University of Plymouth's Inaugural Professorial Lecture series, which provide a milestone event in a professorial career. Through these we can promote and celebrate the academic reputation and achievements within their research.  
Smart cities viewed through technology
Using technology and apps to identify air purity in our environment

Shaping smart cities & communities

Use of new technologies to develop inclusive urban spaces is today becoming more commonplace. Professor Katharine Willis is a leading voice in how people interact with technology and the communities in which they live. Her research explores the concept of smart cities and how a place-based approach may help to shape and define our cities in the future. Aligning the design and deployment of new city technologies to the needs of new communities should be a priority when setting local civic and infrastructural policies. 
Professor Katharine Willis Pioneers
An exterior shot of the Roland Levinsky Building

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