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Region: Economics and Sociology

2021 year, number 4


E.A. Kostina1,2, A.V. Kostin1,2
1Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia
2Novosibirsk National Research State University, Novosibirsk, Russia
Keywords: smart city, excess mortality, urban quality index, the city IQ urban digitalization index


COVID-19 has led to significant changes around the globe. Many studies have already identified the factors influencing the disease spread and mortality, both at regional and national scales. The consistently large number of people infected and newly discovered strains show that these studies are as relevant as ever. Judging from global and domestic practices, we see the increasing use of digital technologies to combat the pandemic and its consequences. These can include technologies that facilitate detecting infected people, contact tracing, prediction, diagnosis and treatment, promoting public awareness, as well as helping to comply with social distancing, self-isolation rules, and transitioning to remote operations. Such technologies are better developed in smart cities due to the availability of suitable infrastructure, although they can be applied in any location. This study assesses what smart technologies and comfortable urban environments contribute to controlling coronavirus infection. The paper proposes a negative correlation between the smart urban environment and the number of deaths, which is tested with statistical methods. According to our findings, a developed urban infrastructure does reduce excess mortality, consisting not only of those who die directly from infection but also from its consequences. Its other benefits include reducing healthcare overload, difficulties with routine check-ups and planned operations, etc. At the same time, the degree of urban environment digitalization has no considerable impact on mortality.