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ThrowBack: Barcelona welcomes a world of smart 2016

Some of the world’s top urban development and transformation experts will be at the event, which focuses on a range different initiatives being undertaken around the world

Barcelona is showcasing smart city initiatives and solutions from around the world
Barcelona is showcasing smart city initiatives and solutions from around the world

Solutions showcased include a street lamp capable of monitoring traffic and air quality

The Global Smart City Awards will be announced at the gala dinner on 16 November

With the theme of Cities for Citizens, the sixth Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) kicks off in the Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via Exhibition Centre today. It is the biggest ever, hosting the representatives of 600 cities, 576 exhibitors and more than 400 speakers.


Some of the world’s top urban development and transformation experts will be at the event which explores different initiatives being undertaken all over the world to empower citizens and to make cities more human. The congress programme is based on seven key themes: Technology, Society, Governance, Sustainability, Mobility, Safety and Innovation and Start-ups.


Companies showcasing their latest technologies and urban solutions at the event, which runs between 15 and 17 November, include Bosch, Cisco, FCC, Ferrovial, Fiware, Huawei, MasterCard, Microsoft, Philips, SAP, Seat, Siemens, Suez, Telefonica and ZTE.


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.


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,” said event director, Ugo Valenti. “Citizen empowerment and the circular economy will be the key themes of a show that is bursting with innovative urban solutions for the future.”

SCEWC is being held at the same time as the Circular Economy European Summit, a congress on the circular economy which enjoys the support of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, one of the leading institutions driving a change in the prevailing economic paradigm and a speaker at expo. The circular economy is committed to redesigning economic and production processes so they focus on the reuse and recycling of materials and resources.

The summit on smart cities will once again be recognising the most innovative initiatives on a global level with the World Smart City Awards. At this sixth edition, awards will be given in three categories: City, Project and Innovative Global South. This last prize, organised in conjunction with the General Assembly of Partners (GAP) for Habitat III of the United Nations, will be awarded for the first time in 2016 in recognition of the most innovative ideas for tackling the most pressing global challenges in the region known as Global South, which encompasses Asia, Africa and Latin America. Now in its sixth edition, the Global Smart City Awards received a total of 259 entries from 45 countries. The winners will be announced on 16 November during the show’s gala dinner.


SCEWC is also repeating its collaboration with the 4YFN (Four Years From Now) entrepreneurial programme of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA to design the event’s enterprise, innovation and start-up agenda. The conferences will have a particular focus on initiatives based on mobile technologies with a view to encouraging the development of solutions in the sphere of smart cities among technology start-ups, and achieving better scalability of projects to help strengthen their global impact.


SmartCitiesWorld will bring you news from the event over the next three days.


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