• Date: Thursday, April 4th, 2024
  • Time: 4:00-5:30PM (PDT)
  • Location: Place of Many Trees, UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues
  • Speaker: Kristi Shalla (Innovation Commissioner at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington DC)
  • Co-hosted by The Centre for Korean Research (CKR), The School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), The School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), and Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver


  • Speaker’s Bio: Kristi Shalla is an expert in global economic development and building innovative ecosystems and currently holds the position of Innovation Commissioner at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington DC. Before relocating to Washington DC in the fall of 2020, Kristi was Head of Project Development at the Center for Innovation in Transport (CENIT) in Barcelona, Spain where she built public and private partnerships in transport and smart city research for projects around the globe. Kristi has over 15 years’ experience in building development projects between the US, Europe and the APAC Region and is an experienced speaker, lecturer and contributor on the topic of urban mobility, smart city development and international expansion. Kristi is also the co-author of the book Seoul: Tale of a Smart City, coming out in April 2024.


  • Description of Talk: Cities around the world are making great efforts to improve the quality of life for their residents after decades of uncontrolled and chaotic growth. As congestion and increased population begin to tax city infrastructure, city governments are looking to find ways to revitalize their urban spaces. Seoul, South Korea can serve as an example of effective urban development policy. After a period of dynamic growth and expansion in the last decades of the 20th century, Seoul has spent the last 20 years solving urban problems through the build out of smart city interventions. This talk will give an overview of Seoul’s policies related to transport and mobility, greening of urban spaces, design, affordable housing, the sharing economy and data-driven decision making.