This week sees the sixth edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress #SCEWC16 and it is the biggest ever, hosting the representatives of 600 cities, 576 exhibitors and more than 400 speakers. Over the three-day event, Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via Exhibition Centre will be hosting some of the top experts in urban development and many of the cities that are spearheading this urban transformation on a global level, combining disciplines such as mobility, technology, energy efficiency, the environment, urban planning and the knowledge economy.
#SCEWC16 has witnessed a huge increase in the number of exhibitors at this year’s edition with a total of 576, up 29.7% compared to the 444 exhibitors at last year’s event. Some of the companies showcasing their latest technologies and urban solutions are Bosch, Cisco, FCC, Ferrovial, Fiware, Huawei, MasterCard, Microsoft, Philips, SAP, Seat, Siemens, Suez, Telefonica and ZTE.
According to Ramón Roca, the show’s president, “The consolidation of the Smart City Expo World Congress endorses the work we have been doing all these years and positions the event as the global benchmark for smart cities and an essential meeting place for companies, cities and regions currently immersed in the transformation towards better cities”.
This sentiment was echoed by the event’s director, Ugo Valenti, who told us that “no other event of this kind is capable of bringing together so many cities and companies in one place. Smart City Expo combines business and knowledge with the objective of driving forward new projects that will make our cities better places for their residents and for the planet as well. Citizen empowerment and the circular economy will be the key themes of a show that is bursting with innovative urban solutions for the future”.
Barcelona will be hosting representatives from cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Dublin, Hamburg, Jerusalem, Kyoto, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tel Aviv and Yokohama. There will also be government delegations from countries such as Austria, China – which is holding a forum on the development of Chinese cities as part of the event – South Korea, Denmark, Israel, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom, amongst others.
The congress programme is based on seven key themes – Technology, Society, Governance, Sustainability, Mobility, Safety and Innovation & Start-ups, with 412 speakers including Susan Etlinger, one of the most influential voices in the big data industry and a force behind the effective and ethical use of social data; the American writer and political strategist David Bollier, the driver of the commons movement that seeks to extend a system of resource management based on dynamic social relations and the use of digital technologies; Parag Khanna, one of the leading geopolitical analysts on the international scene and an expert in the key role of cities as the driving force of global development in the future.
One of #SCEWC16‘s distinctive features is that it shows in its exhibition space the latest technologies available from the smallest and most innovative sensor to the latest urban data management platform capable of predicting when traffic or sewage system will experience problems enabling city officials to solve a crisis before it actually occurs. Among the solutions showcased are a street lamp capable of monitoring traffic and air quality, and recharging electric vehicles; autonomous vehicles or cars capable of detecting free parking spots in the city while driving and share that information; headphones designed to allow the blind to move freely in the city; and a folding solar panel suitable for both urban and domestic use capable of unfolding itself at sunrise, follow the sun and store energy.