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Record edition of Smart Cities World Congress opens doors in Barcelona

With more than 700 international cities represented, this year's figures are "best in history" according to director of event

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14 November 2017 03:03 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) opened its doors this Tuesday at the Fira de Barcelona, and is set to be the biggest yet with a record participation of 700 cities from around the world, as well as 675 exhibitors and 420 experts.

These are “the best figures in history” according to the director of the event Ugo Valenti. This years title theme is ‘Empower Cities, Empower People’, and will focus on the concept of ‘smart cities’ as a way to change the relationship between city, governments, and residents by, for example, improving participation and transparency.

‘Empower Cities, Empower People’

“We want cities to be empowered and have strength because this is the power closest to citizens to be able to make changes through technologies that allow citizen participation in issues such as municipal budgets,” Valenti said at the inauguration of the congress.

Other advantages of smart city technologies highlighted by the SCEWC director included autonomous vehicles or health applications that allow citizens to connect directly with health services. "There are things that will form part of our lives without realizing it and that they will improve our quality of life," Valenti added.

A transparent future

The manager of Rosmiman, a leader in software development for smart cities, was also present. Antonio Ramírez pointed out that technologies related to smart cities must allow municipalities to be transparent in their management of issues such as maintenance costs and investments.

“A citizen who goes to a park or to a beach in the city can collaborate with the municipality, detect problems with infrastructures, and propose improvements,” Ramírez said.

The main smart cities event in the world

SCEWC is the world's leading event dealing with the concept of ‘smart cities’, taking place in Barcelona from November 14 to 16. Multinational leaders in their respective markets such as AT&T, Microsoft, MasterCard, Siemens, Bosch, Cellnex and many more will be participating in this year’s edition, and exhibiting their latest solutions to challenges faced by cities.

More than 700 cities will be represented at the event, including Barcelona, Berlin, Dubai, London, Montevideo, Moscow, New York and more.

Also, a total of 420 international experts will share their ideas on how cities should address their most critical challenges in the future. In conferences and debates, the future of urban living will be discussed within the framework of eight core topics: Government, Safe Cities, Economy, Sustainability, Circular Economy, Society and Data and Technology.

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  • foto_3281464

  • The main exhibition hall at the Smart City World Congress (by ACN)