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Barcelona hosts the most international Smart City Expo World Congress to date

Autonomous vehicles or a device capable of detecting free parking spaces, intelligent lights that monitor traffic, headphones designed to facilitate the mobility of blind people in cities and charging spaces for mobile phones that take advantage of the structure of the old telephone booths. These are some of the technological innovations that visitors can see at the sixth edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), taking place between this Tuesday and next Thursday. The event is the showcase of smart cities and this year celebrates its largest edition yet, with 600 cities participating, 576 exhibitors, 412 speakers and a forecast for 14,000 visitors. Along with this event, the Gran Via Exhibition Centre is hosting three more: the Circular Economy Summit, iWater and European Utility Week, which turns Barcelona into the world capital of sustainable development.


15 November 2016 07:42 PM



Barcelona (CNA).- The sixth edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), taking place between the 15th and the 17th of November in Barcelona's Gran Via Exhibition Centre, brings together 600 cities from five continents, 576 exhibitors and 412 speakers in the biggest ever gathering of municipal authorities in the event's history. Of the 600 cities attending SCEWC, 50 will have their own pavilions. New York, Berlin, Casablanca, Graz, Karlsruhe, London, Luxembourg, Quebec, Seoul, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen and Barcelona are just some of the cities that will be showcasing their innovations in the implementation of smart solutions for metropolitan growth. Autonomous vehicles or a device capable of detecting free parking spaces and intelligent lights that monitor traffic are only an example of the technological innovations that can be seen this week in the sixth edition of the event, which shares its venue with three other events: the Circular Economy Summit, iWater and European Utility Week, which turns Barcelona into the world capital of sustainable development. 

In its sixth edition the Smart City Expo World Congress puts the focus on citizens and the various initiatives that are taking place around the world to empower them and make cities more human. Thus, among the 500 exhibitors we can see innovations such as a new system developed by Seat that permits their vehicles to detect and share available parking spaces in a city with other vehicles. According to Víctor Baños, head of design applications for Seat, the device detects through sensors free spaces and sends this information to a head office, which forwards it to other users.

The Catalan car sector also presents a mobile application that allows users to share vehicles. Baños says that the system has similarities with the exchange of houses facilitated by Airbnb. The owner of the vehicle introduces the characteristics, price and availability through the application and interested users can also book the vehicle and even turn it on by using the application.

Apart from the novelties, the Congress also has a full conference programme structured into seven themes: governance, economy, society, sustainability, mobility, data and technology; and security which will feature leading industry experts among whom are Susan Etlinger (director of the Big Boulder Initiative, dedicated to promoting the ethical use of social data), David Bollier (founder of the Commons Strategies Group) and Parag Khanna (a leading geopolitical analyst on the international scene).

Circular Economy European Summit

In its first edition, the Circular Economy European Summit addresses a new economic model that focuses on the redesign of the economic and productive processes to reorient them on the reuse of materials and resources, as opposed to the current linear system based on extraction-production-use-removal products.

The event, launched this year, \u200B\u200Bhosts the presentation of different business experiences and includes a conference programme with experts in planning, institutional leaders and from the private sector, among whom will feature Ellen MacArthur, promoter of the foundation that bears her name and which has become the main advocate of this shift in the economic paradigm.


iWater is also released this year. It revolves around the water cycle, it shows the latest innovations and technologies aimed at facing water stress and wants to give visibility to investment projects, trends and new business models in the sector. 127 exhibitors from 10 countries are participating in the event and will present solutions for capture, processing, distribution, storage, recycling, reuse, irrigation, management and use of agricultural, industrial and domestic water, among other uses.

It also includes the Forum iWater with talks given by more than 80 speakers to address some of the major global challenges of this industry, from resilience and governance to funding. Besides this the event also includes the Tech Hub, where regulations, successful cases and real investment projects are presented; and the Inno Hub, which brings together the R & D sector through start-ups, technology centres, universities and entrepreneurs.

European Utility Week

The private operators Clarion Events and Synergy have organised this week European Utility Week, the leading platform for the sector of energy and resource management. This display can be visited at Pavilion 3 of the Gran Via Exhibition Centre. 600 international companies are taking part in it. 

The event focuses on the optimisation of the electrical network, the development of renewable energy and energy storage, as well as on the opportunities and challenges faced in the technology sector of the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity and data management. It will feature an exhibition area, conferences and also spaces to promote businesses and support startups.


  • smartcityexpo

  • Image of the Microsoft exhibitor at the Smart City Expo World Congress on the 15th of November 2016 in Barcelona (by ACN)