The Smart City Expo 2023 World Congress, which took place on the 7th and 8th of 11 in Barcelona, is an important event for cities and municipalities around the world.
It serves as a platform for urban innovation, where top representatives from the most innovative companies, representatives of municipalities and governmental and non-governmental organizations have gathered. On behalf of the Union of Cities and Municipalities of the Czech Republic, it was attended by the chairman of the DSO SMO CR committee and the mayor of the municipality of Vestec Tibor Švec, the chairman of the SMO municipal district committee and the mayor of the Slezská Ostrava district Richard Vereš, on behalf of the Union office the executive director of the SMO CR Radka Vladyková and Monika Štěpánová, director section of regional development, foreign relations and projects.
At the invitation of Asekol, the representatives of the SMO CR delegation had the opportunity to learn about and discuss the smart solutions shaping this new technological era.
The fair showed what the onset of a new era of cities with artificial intelligence and data-driven design, decarbonized cutting-edge technologies, net-zero infrastructure and buildings, and new mobility options could look like. This development is changing the shape of urban planning and should put collaboration, ethical technologies, social responsibility, sensitivity to the environment and the needs of citizens living in the city at the center of all agendas.
The Smart City Expo 2023 included three concurrent events focused on key urban challenges. These included a platform for sustainable and intelligent urban mobility, a global event strengthening the ecological and digital transformation of buildings and urban infrastructure, and a global summit dedicated to promoting and developing the potential of the blue economy. He mainly presented technologies in the following areas:
● Intelligent Mobility Solutions: Technologies that optimize traffic flow, support sustainable development and improve transport quality, transport options such as electric cars and bicycles, and improve public transport as well as public transport systems.
● Energy-efficient solutions: Technologies that reduce energy consumption in buildings and infrastructure, support renewable energy sources, and optimize energy management and energy systems.
● Data-driven governance: Technologies that collect, analyze and use data for decision-making, improve service delivery and encourage citizen engagement.
● Platforms focused on communication with citizens: Technologies that provide citizens with easy access to information, services and engagement opportunities, supporting their participation in decision-making processes.
Concrete examples of smart city technology deployments were also presented at the fair: For example, Copenhagen has adopted an ecological transport strategy with cycling infrastructure, charging stations for electric cars as well as a focus on pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods. Oslo, which has made a commitment to become a carbon-neutral city by 2030, using smart grids, renewable energy sources and energy-efficient buildings to do so. The venue, the city of Barcelona, has implemented an intelligent parking system that guides drivers to available parking spaces, thereby reducing traffic congestion and improving traffic flow. Also of great interest is the example of Singapore, which has developed a comprehensive smart city platform that integrates data from various sources to optimize traffic flows, manage energy consumption and improve public services.
For example, innovative solutions for electric car chargers in public spaces from an Estonian start-up in the joint presentation of the Nordic and Baltic countries or highly automated shuttle buses from the LivingLAPT company, which is financed by the EIT Mobility Program of the European Union, met with great interest from the delegation. At the meeting with representatives of British companies, the delegation also got acquainted with the British Catapult project. This project is concerned with accelerating innovation in smart cities, transport and places. It delivers ‘innovation as a service’ to public authorities, businesses and infrastructure providers to accelerate the transformation of cities and the way people live, work and travel in them.
The Czech Republic was not represented here, despite the fact that Czech companies and cities have a lot to offer – most of the technologies were known to the present mayors. And so they were at least pleased to meet familiar faces, for example representatives of the University Center for Energy Efficient Buildings of Czech Technical University in Prague.
M.Sc. Monika Štěpánová, Section of Regional Development, Foreign Relations and Projects