Fira, capital city of the world
Cities and sustainable development are the central themes of four international meetings that will take place this November, from the 15th to the 17th, bringing some 30,000 professionals and 1,300 exhibitors from 600 cities in over 100 countries to the Gran Via site.
Mobility, the workings of a city, water management, waste treatment and the exploitation of resources are both concerns and targets that are shared around the world, and not only by city councillors or those in other administrative bodies, but also by many of their fellow citizens. Technology and knowledge can offer solutions to city life and help to tackle some of these major problems.
This is in fact the purpose of the Smart City Expo World Congress event; and the new fairs Circular Economy European Summit and Iwater, all three organized by Fira de Barcelona, and also European Utility Week, which are all being held simultaneously at the Gran Via site, making use of common spaces, aims and interactions.
The managing director of Barcelona’s trade fair, Constantí Serrallonga, sees it this way: “our target is to generate synergies between them and create opportunities for professionals and companies by combining knowledge, experience, business and technology to help to create a better future”.
Smart City Expo World Congress
It has only taken five years to emerge as the main global event on smart cities, and it now attracts representatives from over 600 cities and a hundred or more countries. The event focuses on the general public and the initiatives being developed to give them greater power to make cities more humane. The event has seven main axes: governance, economy, society, sustainability, mobility, data and technology and security.
The Circular Economy European Summit
Looks at a new economic model that advocates the re-design of economic and productive processes to focus on re-use and the exploitation of resources and materials, as opposed to the present linear system based on extraction-manufacturing-use-elimination of products, which many experts now view as exhausted.
Looks at the whole water cycle in the light of the latest innovations and technologies aimed at tackling water stress, highlighting investment projects, trends and new business models in the sector. It will offer solutions for capture, treatment, distribution, storage, recycling and reuse, as well as domestic, industrial and agricultural management, and irrigation, among other uses.
European Utility Week
The leading platform for the energy and resource management sector, organized by private operators Synergy and Clarion Events, comes to Barcelona, with a focus on optimization of the electricity mains, the development of renewable energy, energy storage, all kinds of energy efficiency and services, as well as the opportunities and challenges that the technology of the Internet of Things has raised, cyber security and data management.
Great cities in a global world
More than half of the world’s population live in urban areas. There are already 400 cities with more than a million inhabitants, and the unstoppable process of urban growth in emerging economies such as China, India or Brazil is creating more megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants, which have a dramatic impact on their environment and clear effects on the redistribution of financial, social and human resources at the local level. Cities have become important actors in the global panorama and their political influence reaches well beyond their countries’ borders.
Richard Florida, an expert on the role of cities who took part in previous editions of Smart City Expo World Congress, talks of “creative cities”, which are urban areas that can attract talent and technology from around the world, from a position of civic and cultural tolerance. They are the “three Ts”, talent, technology and tolerance, attributes that we can be sure have enabled Metropolitan Barcelona to reach a remarkable position on the global stage.