26 November 2019
7:00 pm
Tech&Society: “Beyond the Smart City”
Conference, Debate
Espacio Fundación Telefónica

“Beyond the Smart City: How to use technology to make cities better for people”


Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica came together again to present a new session for the Program Tech&Society with a conference by Jennifer Bradley on Smart Cities: How to use technology to make cities better for people. Jennifer Bradley is the founding director of the Center for Urban Innovation and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution (Brookings Press, 2013). The session was moderated by Juan Lobato, alcalde de Soto del Real.


Technology offers extraordinary tools to improve the quality of life and service delivery in cities. But, by themselves, new technologies will not deliver more equitable, opportunity-rich, and delightful places. More city leaders are realizing that the idea of “smart cities” is too limited, and too driven by industry, to capture what residents want from new technology. What comes after the “smart city,” and how are city governments trying to build and deliver it? And how can urban residents be more involved in creating the technological infrastructure that shapes public space and the experience of urban life?


The event took place in English with a Spanish sign language translator (LSE). Simultaneous translation devices for Spanish-speakers were also provided. You could follow the event via live streaming on Fundacíon Teléfonica´s web page, and on social media under the hashtag #TechSociety. Thank you for joining us.




Jennifer Bradley is the founding director of the Center for Urban Innovation and the co-author, with Bruce Katz, of The Metropolitan Revolution (Brookings Press, 2013). At the Center for Urban Innovation, she has led projects on: how local-level regulations can help or hinder innovation and economic inclusion; how cities can prepare for the advent of autonomous vehicles; how inclusive innovation happens in businesses, philanthropies, local governments, and non-profits; and the challenges that women and people of color have in accessing capital. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Jennifer was a fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, where she worked on the role of metropolitan areas in the nation’s economy and politics. She has also spoken widely about urban issues, at The Aspen Ideas Festival, South by Southwest, the Code for America Summit, and Techonomy, and her essays have appeared in Newsweek, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, and Next American City. A former attorney, Jennifer has co-authored Supreme Court amicus briefs in cases that affirmed the constitutional powers of local governments and secured greater environmental protections, including the landmark case, Massachusetts v. EPA. Jennifer has a J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, an MPhil from Oxford University, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship, and a B.A. from the University of Texas.


JUAN LOBATO (@juanlobato_es)
Juan Lobato is the Mayor of Soto del Real since 2015. He was member of the Madrid Regional Parliament, and the Economic, Finance and Budget Speaker of the Social-democratic group, PSOE (2015-2019). He was also member of the public debt commission and President of the justice commission in 2018. He has a degree in Law by the Autónoma University of Madrid and received a degree in administration and business management from the same university in 2008. He has participated in five political leadership programs organized by the Aspen Institute in Spain (2013-2019) and directed by Mr. Javier Solana, NATO’s ex-General Secretary and Senior Representative for Foreign Policy and Common Security of the European Union. He participated in the US International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) as part of the Spanish delegation during the last US presidential campaign. In 2018, he was selected by the Advanced Leadership Foundation as one of the leaders to participate in the first “Cumbre de Innovación Tecnológica y Economía Circular” with important panelists including several prize Nobel winners such as President Obama. He has also participated as a speaker and panelist in different think tanks about technology, economics, social security and leadership. In April 2010, Juan obtained a position as tax inspector for the Treasury Department. Nowadays, he is level 30, the highest position in the administration career.


Recommended articles:

– Bradley, Jennifer; Vogel, Dan. “After Amazon: How Cities Can Use Tech to Their Benefit”, US News, April 4, 2019.

– Florida, Richard. “The Urban Housing Crunch Costs the U.S. Economy About $1.6 Trillion a Year”, CityLab, May 18, 2015.

– Sorin, Josh; Rose, Katie. “The Future of U.S. Cities”, Center for Public Impact, April, 2019.

– Bradley, Jennifer. “Co-creation: A Map, Not a Destination”, The Aspen Institute, March 13, 2018.

– Bradley, Jennifer. “The City Reinvented”, The Aspen Institute, December 1, 2017.

– Bradley, Jennifer. “Who are Cities For?”, The Aspen Institute, October 27, 2015.


More information


  • Juan Lobato Gandarias
Espacio Fundación Telefónica
  • Conference
  • Debate