Barcelona is an innovative city that hosts the Smart City Expo World Congress every year. The event is the meeting point for governments, companies, entrepreneurs and research centers; where cities meet other cities, showcase their projects and find new solutions, and where companies make business. It has turned out to be an exceptional networking platform to connect people working in and with cities around the world who are tackling similar challenges and generating opportunities for action.
Amsterdam Smart City is eager to once again visit the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, and show you what it is all about! Between the 12th and the 16th of November, we will find out about the latest smart city developments, make new connections and bring several companies with us on a trade mission. And while preparing for all of this, we will share our adventures with you. Keep an eye out for the interviews, vlogs and articles on “the road to Barcelona” and stay informed!
All you need to know about why this EXPO is so important to cities can be found in this introductory post. Check out our video for an introduction!
“Cities must act together across borders to deal with similar challenges”
More than ever, what happens in cities is shaping our world. The future of the world’s urban population will mostly be built in our lifetimes. The challenges we face are immense and only by working together will we be able to tackle them.
Over the next few decades, the continuing urbanization and overall growth of the world´s population is projected to add 2.5 billion people to the cities. All regions in the world are expected to urbanize further, especially in Asia and Africa, where the fastest growing cities are located.
The world is becoming even more interdependent and cities must act together across borders to deal with similar challenges: population growth, climate change, traffic congestion and pollution, lack of adequate and affordable housing, education and health, the integration of refugees and migrants into urban life, among many other pressing issues.
Empowerment has been defined as an intentional ongoing process which occurs in communities and organizations, involves active participation, critical reflection, awareness and understanding, and most difficult but important of all, the access and control over important decisions and resources, in a climate of mutual respect and caring.
Cities are the closest level of government in relation to its people. They are better positioned to listen to the real needs of its population and to solve global problems. Cities have the task of translating the global frameworks and regional policies into real action on the ground. However, cities today need to do more with less, and they require financial support to increase the infrastructures needed and basic services to ensure greater social equity and sustainable cities for all. There is an imperative need to empower cities.
Local action has a significant global impact. Cities are where social innovation happens, which allows everyone to equally seize the opportunities offered by digital transformation and technological advances. The model of urban innovation focused in providing a more plural digital economy is only possible based on the collaboration between public administrations, companies, the academic and research community, and most certainly, the citizens. Technology is a key element in the service of people for the democratization of the city. Digital technology can work as an enabler for public participation, transparency and citizen proximity. Social inclusion starts with citizens. A bottom-up approach is needed to empower people.
“Smart City Expo World Congress is committed to leveraging the global agendas at local and national level”
Smart City Expo World Congress is committed to leveraging the implementation and follow-up of all global agendas at local and national level. The event aims to be the place to collectivize urban power, to increase the strength of cities, to identify business opportunities, to establish partnerships and contribute to enacting common policies. A place to share research, best practices and potential common solutions, achieved through effective collaboration.
As the leading event for cities, we understand the need for giving cities a powerful global voice as well as an innovative platform for common urban action. The event is the meeting point for governments, companies, entrepreneurs and research centers, where cities meet other cities, showcase their projects and find new solutions, and where companies make business. It has turned out to be an exceptional networking platform to connect people working in and with cities around the world who are tackling similar challenges and generating opportunities for action.
In 2017 Smart City Expo World Congress intends to increase the presence of public and private organizations, exhibitors and visitors from all over the world, to keep generating synergies, sharing knowledge, provoking discussion, promoting out of the box thinking and inspiring a call for actions. More than 17.000 professional visitors are expected, with over 600 exhibitors, along with high level representatives from more than 650 cities and over 400 experts and thought leaders.
“We understand the need for giving cities an innovative platform for common urban action”
The Congress gathers the most relevant experts and leaders of the world´s most innovative cities, companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups, research centers, initiatives and solutions, with strategies for a smarter and more sustainable urban world. At the Exhibition Area, participants showcase their latest developments, real solutions and products, with technologies that are making concrete and lasting positive impacts on the lives of millions of people.
Be part of this global community, an ecosystem committed to creating powerful solutions, the ones that will help to develop a more plural economy, improve our quality of life and promote a healthier future.