July 31, 2018
Dr. Fenner Stewart Joins Dentons Smart Cities Think Tank
Dr. Fenner Stewart, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law, has joined the Dentons Smart Cities/Communities Think Tank.
The Think Tank was officially launched at the Dentons 2018 Smart Cities Summit in Washington, DC on July 26, 2018. The Think Tank brings together leaders in government, academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations to generate strategies to manage the challenges facing tomorrow’s cities.
Stewart notes that the United Nations predicts that “population density in urban areas will explode over the next 35 years, jumping by 2.5 billion”. He continues, “this growth will create tremendous challenges for cities. City planning will need to be managed strategically to avoid the dire consequences of adding so many people to existing post-war era urban infrastructures that struggle to meet present demands”.
Experts predict that meeting these challenges will translate to tens of trillions of dollars for those who develop and implement the necessary combinations of technologies that will provide the DNA for tomorrow’s urban re-organization. Such technologies will have to meet needs, which will include sustainable development, innovative transport services, alternative energy, big data management, privacy, environmental protection, and urban agriculture to offset and reduce social and economic costs associated with this population growth.
Clint Vince, the Chair of Dentons’ US Energy Practice and Co-Chair of Dentons Global Energy Sector, is an industry leader on smart city innovation and the Think Tank’s founder. He notes, “It was Jennifer Morrissey, who suggested inviting Fenner to be a founding member. We are glad to have him on our team”. Ms. Morrissey is a member of Dentons' Energy practice, based in Washington DC, and is currently managing the Think Tank. She adds “Fenner has worked with Dentons over the last few years, collaborating with offices in Calgary, Washington, London, Houston, and Mexico City to teach an international energy law study course, which our Calgary office sponsors. Fenner came to mind, because of his close connections with Dentons, his expertise in regulatory theory, and his track-record for offering balanced perspectives on thorny issues”.
The Think Tank offers a forum for creative thought-leadership to craft innovative legal, economic and policy solutions to help cities and communities take advantage of technological developments that will allow the integration of all essential services, modernizing and coordinating digital, physical and social infrastructure to make delivery of these services more efficient, more beneficial and more cost effective.
It is worth noting that Stewart was enthusiastic about the prospect of offering a course on smart city regulation at the law school in the near future.
Dentons is the world's largest law firm. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Referral Network.