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Smart City Expo transformed into an online event for 2020

The digital event will consist of a broadcast television show on day one, with day two’s programme featuring workshops, sessions, and side events.

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Last year's Expo in Barcelona attracted more than 24,000 visitors from around the world
Last year's Expo in Barcelona attracted more than 24,000 visitors from around the world

The 2020 Smart City Expo World Congress, which was due to take place in Barcelona in November, is being transformed into an online event because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Organisers Fira de Barcelona will host Smart City Live between 17-18 November 2020.

 

Digital line-up

 

The annual event was due to celebrate its tenth anniversary this year. Last year it attracted more than 24,000 visitors, with 700 cities represented and 1,000-plus exhibitors.

 

The digital event will consist of a broadcast television show on day one, with interviews, debates, and success stories focusing on how Covid-19 has impacted cities and is “redefining citizens’ normality”.

 

Day two’s programme will feature workshops, sessions, and side events, which will gather key players and global institutions to tackle the challenges beyond the short-term impact of the pandemic.

 

The first ever SCEWC took place in 2011 and was attended by some 6,000 visitors. Fifty-one countries were represented and there were 118 exhibitors.

“We will use the lessons learned this year to keep improving and challenging ourselves, and put on the best edition yet”

Reflecting on how Expo has evolved over the years, Ugo Valenti, cities and society business unit director, told Smart Cities World after last year’s event that its growth reflects that more and more cities and companies globally “believe in change for a better world”. He said as cities increasingly take on roles that were traditionally played by the government, a platform for them to come together and work towards shared goals is essential.

 

He also noted that the focus of the event has shifted ‘dramatically’ from the early shows which came from a technological perspective towards one where the citizen is at the centre of the conversation. “Technology is a means to an end and not an end in itself,” said Valenti.

 

In a statement, Valenti said the event will be back in Barcelona next year on 16-18 November to celebrate its 10th edition. He said: “We will use the lessons learned this year to keep improving and challenging ourselves, and put on the best edition yet.”

 

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