Skip to main content

The 2015 edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) brings together 500 cities, 450 exhibitors and 400 speakers at its biggest-ever edition

Smart City Expo brings together 500 cities, 450 exhibitors and 400 speakers at its biggest-ever edition
The 2015 edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is the biggest ever, hosting the representatives of 500 cities, 450 exhibitors and 400 speakers. Over the three-day event, Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via Exhibition Centre will be hosting some of the top experts in urban development and many of the cities that are spearheading this urban transformation on a global level, combining disciplines such as mobility, technology, energy efficiency, the environment, demographic management, urban planning and the knowledge economy.

Smart City Expo World Congress 2014 - 2015

The presence of representatives from some 500 cities on five continents will turn Barcelona into the world's smart city capital between 17 and 19 November. Cities with their own stands to showcase their projects and solutions include Adelaide, Istanbul, Hamburg, Helsinki, Jerusalem, Kyoto, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tel Aviv and Vienna. The show is also being attended by government delegations from South Korea, Estonia, Denmark, India, Mauritius and the United Kingdom.

In addition, 450 companies will be showcasing the latest urban solutions as well as the different platforms for integrated smart city management. The company profile ranges from start-ups – with around 70 in attendance – to multinationals such as Amazon, Audi, Airbnb, Cisco, Engie, FCC, Ferrovial, Fiware, Google, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Siemens, Telefónica and Thyssen-Krupp  .
Ramón Roca, the show's president, believes that "the exponential leap made by the 2015 Smart City Expo World Congress endorses the work we have been doing all these years and represents the consolidation of the event as the international summit of reference in the field of urban innovations and solutions.". This impression is echoed by the event's director, Ugo Valenti, who claims that "no other event of this kind is capable of bringing together so many cities and companies and attracting so much talent, something that confirms the success of an event model that manages to combine business and knowledge and drive forward new projects."

The Congress programme features 400 speakers across over 40 sessions divided into six core themes: Technology, Society, Governance; Sustainability, Mobility, e Innovation & Startups. Some of the standout speakers include economists Edward L. Glaeser (Harvard) and Pankaj Ghemawat (New York University); and technology experts Juliana Rotich, co-founder of a collaborative platform for monitoring crisis situations, and Beth Simone Noveck, director of the Governance Lab and previously responsible for the White House Open Government Initiative with Barack Obama's team.

There will also be a special session at the congress on mobility, involving Audi's chief executive Rupert Stadler, the mayor of Somerville (Massachusetts, USA), Joseph Curtatone, and Alain Flausch, the general secretary of the International Public Transport Association.

BcnRail and Smart MobilityThe fifth edition of BcnRail, which takes place at the same time as SCEWC, is focusing attention on the issue of sustainable mobility and will be located within the new Smart Mobility area. Smart technologies, access to new markets and international projects and freight logistics will be the key themes on the agenda at the BcnRail Congress, the show's programme of technical seminars which features some 60 speakers from all over the world. Issues such as new ticketing systems, energy efficiency, cybersecurity and the European Union's Shift2Rail programme to promote innovation are just some of the aspects they will be discussing.

A new economic recipe
One of the new features of the next edition of the event is a symposium on the circular economy, a system that opts for redesigning economic and production processes to focus them on reutilizing and taking the maximum advantage of materials and resources. This type of economy is in stark contrast to the current linear economy that perpetuates a production and consumer structure based on the extraction, manufacture, use and elimination of products, which many experts agree has reached the end of its useful life. The organization is also collaborating with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, one of the leading institutions behind the paradigm shift in the Western economy.

Apps, solutions and awards
The activities planned for this year's Smart City Expo World Congress include the Smart City Plaza, a reproduction of a city zone of over 2,000 sq. m located in the centre of the show, which features around twenty urban solutions and technologies that illustrate the ideal Smart City. For the 2015 edition of SCEWC, a call for solutions was announced for companies that wish to showcase their technologies in a real-life environment. Of the hundred or so proposals received, 12 have been chosen to exhibit in the Smart City Plaza. Similarly, a call for apps was also made, again with more than 100 applicants of which a dozen have been chosen to exhibit in the same space.

Among the solutions and apps that will be on show at the event is the first driverless microbus, which will start operating next year in Singapore and California; an electric bicycle system capable of doubling the logistics productivity of the latter; an urban navigation system using beacons that informs people with impaired vision about the different features, obstacles and situations around them by mobile phone; a system of charging electric cars integrated in the public street lighting system, and various urban uses of drones.

The Smart City summit will also be recognizing the most advanced projects and the most innovative initiatives on a global scale with the World Smart City Awards. The winners of the three awards in the categories of Initiatives, Projects and Innovative City will be announced on the evening of 18 November at the show's gala dinner.

The mobile city
Now in its fifth edition, the SCEWC has reached a collaboration agreement with the entrepreneurial programme 4YFN (Four Years From Now) of Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA to design the programme of presentations on innovation and start-ups. The conferences will put a special focus on solutions based on mobile technologies with the aim of encouraging entrepreneurs in the field of smart cities and promoting the scalability of projects to maximize their global impact. Furthermore there will be a special exhibition area set up – the 4YFN Village – plus an urban edition of the 4YFN Awards to recognize the most innovative projects.

Further Reading 

How Nest is revolutionising smart homes with Nest Weave & Creating Most Comprehensive Developer Platform for the Home 

IBM Research Breakthrough Paves Way for Post-Silicon Future with Carbon Nanotube Electronics
ABB unveils intelligent voice-activated smart home system