toronto-skyline-night Photo: Farhan Amoor/Flickr

Technology is changing, and will continue to alter, the dynamics of modern cities.

In the not too distant future, driverless cars could be hitting the road en masse with Google’s Chauffeur software, possibly ramping up auto sharing — or making car ownership more appealing. Either outcome has obvious implications for city planners and dwellers alike to consider, from parking capacity to shifting traffic patterns. And already, ride-sharing app Uber’s impact on city streets is playing out, as cities grapple with updating regulations that predate smartphones.

These are among the narratives unfolding in major urban centres the world over, and as those in Toronto witnessed when the Uber-regulation debate hit City Hall, it’s not always pretty. How these technologies and others could affect how cities are designed, built and run will be covered via an expert panel that Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, will be leading on November 3rd at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The Transforming Our Future: How Disruptive is Disruptive Technology panel is part of the two-day Emerging Trends and City Building Symposium, which the Toronto chapter of non-profit organization Urban Land Institute (ULI) is hosting.

The panel comes at the same time when Twitter is providing a social-media platform for the reporting of everything from power outages to roadkill, and short-term rental service Airbnb is making a splash in the housing market.

The panelists who will be in attendance, then, are in unique positions to comment, as each represents one of the tech giants mentioned above: Colin Mckay is Google Canada’s head of public policy and government relations, Ian Black is Uber Canada’s general manager, Aaron Zifkin is Canada’s country manager at Airbnb; and Steve Ladurantaye heads up government partnerships for Twitter Canada.

The panel kicks off at 7:15am on November 3rd at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — South Building (222 Bremner Boulevard). Entry is $125 for ULI members and $175 for non-members.

The two-day symposium starts on November 2nd, also at 7:15am. Tickets for the whole symposium cost $600 for ULI members and $780 for non-members.

October 27th is the last day to register for either option.

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