Knowledge Cities


As founding Member of the New Club of Paris (, an association of experts on intellectual capital of cities, regions, and nations, I have been engaged in the emerging field of knowledge/smart/learning/creative cities, a trans-disciplinary field at the intersection of urban planning, sociology and spatial aspects of knowledge.

Knowledge City Activities and Projects:


21-23 June 2021,  World Cities Summit, Singapore and virtual


18-21 September 2019, Delhi

In and Beyond the City:

Emerging Ontologies, Persistent Challenges and Hopeful Futures

I am organising a round-table on “Urban Data Governance”. Submissions are welcome.


30 August – 1 September 2018, Suwon

Learning Cities, Learning Societies, and Sustainable Development Goals

15th Pascal Conference, Suwon, Korea


30 January 2018, Hong Kong

Connected City Conference


15 Dec 2017, Hong Kong

Learning Cities –  a social perspective on Smart Cities
Often, we rather focus on technology when taking about smart cities, however, learning and whole-of-society approaches, are at the core of sustainable cities transforming and adapting to future challenges.
The director of development of Espoo City, Dr. Kristiina Erkkila, who will be speaking at the Learning & Technology Expo next week, will join our informal seminar to discuss how learning and smart city developments can be connected. Espoo, which is part of the Greater Helsinki region, is a UNESCO awarded Learning City.


2-8 August 2017, Hong Kong

Future City Summit

Design Thinking Workshop on Ecomobility


12-13 June 2017, Turku, Finland

Futures of a Complex World:

Do cities need systematic futures thinking?


17-19 May 2017, Berlin

Connecting Startup Cities

Part of the 12th Asia Pacific Weeks under the theme

Asia-Europe Dialogue on Digitalization


18-19 February 2017, Cochin

Creative Encounters with Science and Technology

A special programme during the Kochi-Muziris Biennale


9th Knowledge City World Summit

12-13  October 2016, Vienna


Walk21: a conference on urban mobility with a focus on walking

3-7 October 2016, Hong Kong


Learning Cities 2040

3-5 June 2016, Glasgow

13th Pascal International Conference


Seminar: Mobility in Smart Cities

3 December 2015, Hong Kong


Smart City Expo World Congress

17-19 November 2015 , Barcelona

Twitter #SCEWC15


11th International Conference on Knowledge Management

4-6 October 2015, Osaka

I am organizing a special track on Knowledge Cities:



Envisioning Hong Kong as Smart and Green City

13 May 2015, Hong Kong

Event organised by EuroCham ICT Business Council (ICTBC) and Smart City Expo World Congress



ICLEI World Congress on Sustainable Cities

8-12 April 2015, Seoul


Resilient Cities Asia Pacific

11-13 February 2015, Bangkok


Urban Innovations: An series of events between European Cities and Hong Kong

More details

European Union Academic Programm (EUAP) between September 2014 and April 2015

Knowledge Dialogues is a supporting organisation and sponsor of the series.


Wise City Symposium, 13 November 2014, Hong Kong

organised by the French Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

Wisecity panel 11-14-2

Moderating a panel with senior representatives of HK government agencies                                                                                                   discussing the potential for smart urban development in the New Territories


Future Cities Asia, 13-15 October 2014, Hong Kong

Harnessing Technology to Transform Urban Infrastructure


Smart City Developments in Hong Kong and Europe, 26 June 2014

A smart city is a city which can provide – with fewer resources – more efficiency, more services for its citizens and a higher quality of life in a rapidly urbanizing world. Sustainable built environment, green buildings, zero waste and zero carbon strategies, intelligent mobility systems, renewable energy supply and smart grids are just a few of the fields where human and technological connectivity empower collaboration different stakeholders in the city.

Organised by the Eurocham ICT Committee


PASCAL Workshop: Cities Learning Together,  12-13 June 2014, University of Tampere, Finland

Public Administration as Domain for Smart Solutions

Presention: The Governance of Smart City Developments


World Cities Summit, 1-4 June 2014, Singapore


Cities Learning Together,  18-20 November 2013, Hong Kong

11th Pascal Observatory Conference


Resilient Cities 2013, Bonn, Germany

4th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation, 31 May – 2 June 2013


Ansal University, Gurgaon: De Facto (March 2013) on Knowledge Cities

Pune – An Emerging Knowledge City?

The knowledge city concept is based on a terminology describing intangibles which contribute to the socio-economic development of a city, such as relational capital (e.g. image) human capital (education levels), structural capital (connectivity, accessibility), and renewal capital (investments in R&D). Researchers have developed a broad range of indicators to monitor the long-term, sustainable development of cities.

In National City rankings, Pune is often listed among the better cities in India in terms of quality of life, competitiveness and contribution to GDP.

There is, however, one aspect of Pune, which is consistently mentioned as the city’s largest problem or “intangible liability”:  urban transportation. Public transport is part of the structural capital of a city since knowledge flows rely on traffic flows and urban connectivity.

While many cities in India made considerable progress in improving public transport in the past years, Pune doesn’t seem to move, literally.

There are various citizen groups working on sustainable transport solutions for Pune, as well as plenty of studies on this topic. With nearly 3 million inhabitants, the city only operates 1250, largely dilapidated buses with irregular schedules, frequent breakdowns and no comprehensive information systems at bus stops. Consequently, only around 15% of the population use public transport, and a recent RTI request about the performance of public bus transport revealed how grossly inadequate the service is.

There is no lack of knowledge on how sustainable transportation could look like in Pune; however, cultural and political barriers restrain strategic thinking about the future. The dominant mentality of the growing middle class is to buy a motorbike or a car as soon as possible in order to be independent of public transport, thus contributing to the problem of congestion. Every month, 22,000 new vehicles are allowed to enter the already completely overloaded road network.

Although Pune was the first city in India to introduce a BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit system with dedicated bus lanes), this system seems to be abandoned as motorists are ignoring those lanes while the City Corporation is unable to restrict this development.

Without addressing the tangible and intangible structural capital issues, it seems therefore rather euphemistic to call Pune a Knowledge City.

Note: The author (unsuccessfully) tried to only use public transport during a week long stay in Pune in January 2013


Review:  Could Hong Kong “Copenhagenize” – for a Better Future?

A review of the “Culture and the City” session at the Business of Design Week, Hong Kong, 8 December 2012

The Business of Design Week, Hong Kong’s annual flagship event on everything around design and innovation is now in its 10th year; since 2007 it also features a track on “Culture & the City”; a whole day of discussions on how architecture and design connect with the fabric of a city and its community

Read the review here BODW-2012-Review


New Publication  ARI Working Paper, No. 193  (Dec 2012)

Interventions in the Political Geography of Asia’s Transborder Urban Networks

Michelle Ann Miller (Editor), Tim Bunnell (Editor), Aloysius Ma L. Cañete, Mike Douglass, Terry G. McGee, Se Hoon Park & Waltraut Ritter

 This series of interventions speak to the wider literature on interrelations between state territorialization processes and border-crossing urban linkages. Focusing on cases in Asia, we seek to bring into view a greater diversity of transborder urban political geographies than are visible in metageographical imaginings of city networks spanning state boundaries. Specifically, the interventions address four main areas that extend beyond the dominant metageography that conceives of the world in terms of territorially bounded nation-states. The first concerns the territorial unit of analysis which forms the basis of a world of urban networks. Second, it is important to recognize that it is not merely nation-state borders that are crossed by urban networks, but also the governance of urban areas that extend beyond the official administrative boundaries of a city which often necessitate collaborative connections between city officials and their counterparts in neighbouring districts. Third, we highlight the range of actors involved in forging urban networks, especially the possibilities for urban networking ‘from below’. Finally, our interventions are all viewed from the temporal and regional frame of contemporary Asia because of the region’s urban density and diversity. As such, we invite further comparative engagement in relation not only to other Asian cases, but also to cross-border experiences and urban realities elsewhere in the world.


Inaugural New City Summit in Paris, 14-16 May 2012

Future Cities,  Connected Cities, Knowledge Cities, Temporary Cities, Visible Cities, Green Cities:

An overview of the many facets of cities by Designmind:

I discussed some of these facets in an article on Knowledge Cities – A new concept? (2010)


The Knowledge City Index: a Case Study of Mysore

by Raghav. V. Sampangi, Waltraut Ritter, N.V. Vighnesh and H.C. Ashish Ray

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development  (IJKBD) Vol 3 no 2, 2012, pp 193-212


8-9 March 2012, Singapore

Intercity Networks and Urban Governance in Asia

National University of Singapore,  Asia Research Institute


Melbourne 2010 Knowledge Cities World Summit

16-19 November 2010

The summit will bring together leaders who understand and shape how cities develop to create local life spaces and professional environments offering a quality of life to citizens as they cope with challenges of modern life.

Workshop on Creative City Mapping

Special session of the New Club of Paris


Beijing: First Global World City Conference

18/19 September 2010

Organised by the Beijing Academy of Science and Technology and Beijing Research Center for Science of Science, Beijing Intellectual Property Office and many others.

Local and international experts, scholars and entrepreneurs will share ideas on knowledge cities, intellectual capital of cities, the role of IP and innovation in knowledge and creative economies.

For more details, pleave visit


Cities and Urban Spaces – Chances for Cultural and Citizenship Education

29 September – 1 October, Trieste, Italy

How can citizens be directly involved in the policy and planning processes in shaping urban spaces?,0,0,Cities_and_Urban_Spaces%3A_Chances_for_Cultural_and_Citizenship_Education.html


May 2010           Creative Industries and Urban Development

A lecture by Prof. Klaus Kunzmann, 29/05/2010  10:00-12:30,  more information: HK Foresight event 29 May 2010


Nov 2009           2nd Knowledge City Summit in Shenzhen, China

Programme advisor representing the New Club of Paris


Aug 2009          Creative City Hong Kong Guest lecture at the University of Malaya

Aug 2009          Mysore – an Emerging Knowledge City: Presentation for the  Confederation of Indian Industries

Jul 2009            Urban Regeneration Summit, organised by the Financial Times, Hong Kong

Jun 2009          Innovation in Transforming City Regions: Stavanger Innovation Summit:

Invited speaker on “Creative Cluster in the Digital Media Industry in Hong Kong”

Mar 2009          Review panel on Creative and Knowledge Economy, organized by the Information Services               Department of the Hong Kong Government and the University of Hong Kong.

Dec 2008           Forum on “Culture and the City” at the Business of Design Week, Hong Kong

Oct 2008           Managing World Cities, Conference at the University of Hong Kong

Mar 2008          Delhi – Smart City 2010 Symposium organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (Invited Panelist)

Dec 2008           IBS International Conference on Management, Ahmedabad, India

Knowledge Cities and Clusters in India (Invited speaker and Best Presentation Award)

June 2008         Knowledge and Space, University of Heidelberg, Department of Geography and Klaus Tschira Foundation, (invited speaker)

Oct 2007           1st International Knowledge City Summit in Monterrey, Mexico, as part of the UNESCO Global Forum on Knowledge-based Development (invited speaker)

Dec 2006           OECD conference on Intellectual Assets-Based Management, Tokyo

Toward innovation and sustainable growth

The Intellectual Capital of Hong Kong (invited speaker)

May 2006          IC2 World Conference on Intellectual Capital for Communities, Paris

Intangible Aspects of Trade: Hong Kong as Knowledge City (invited speaker)

I am a jury member of the MAKCi award (Most Admired Knowledge Cities), an annual award given the World Capital Institute. Starting in 2007, the city awardsis an international consulting process established to identify and recognize those communities around the world who are successfully engaging in formal and systematic knowledge-based development processes under the flag of Knowledge Cities.

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