Smart City Expo: the cities of sustainability, responsibility, safety and health

This post is also available in: Spanish

smartcityexpoThis week was held in Barcelona (18-20 November) the Smart City Expo congress, a world leading congress on smart solutions […] for cities, companies and experts [1]

In practice, due to the number and features of the solutions shown in the congress, a more suitable term for the presented concept should be “sensible city”:

“smart cities, enhanced with the sensible and sound interaction of the citizens and where the economy of scale meets its optimum approach” [2] (article in Spanish)

This is a concept in full development that includes, among other, many of the topics this blog deals with: sustainability, responsibility, safety and health, urban environment. That´s why I attended the congress and now I show you a small sample of what I saw:

  • Sustainable cities. Despite that a city´s sustainability covers the social, economical and environmental fields, this last is the most recurring one, represented by aspects like pollutant emissions to the atmosphere and the citizen´s health. The message of the city of Göteborg is a proof of this:


  • Denmark and Copenhagen show the pathway. In addition to Göteborg, in the congress there were a number of regions and cities represented, namely Colombia, Israel, Brazil or United Kingdom. But, if I should have to choose a place as paradigm of sustainability, it should be Denmark.

In such a sector so related to the latest technologies, creative ideas, modern construction projects, etcetera, Danish people are on the world-cutting edge establishing their own identity and the respect to their villages´authenticity as the starting point. It is significant that the city of Copenhagen chose the city´s old town as the image to portrait its most advanced initiatives:


Thanks to this approach, Copenhagen was awarded as the European Green Capital 2014. Many other governors all around the globe may take note.

  • AED Drones. It is all about assistance drones in emergency events: to deliver first aid kits, automatic external defibrillator (AED, which give name to these drones), to take pictures, to take samples in adverse environments, etcetera. Their are shocking:


  • Taking about urban transport, when it comes to diminish atmospheric pollutants emissions, to improve mobility, to foster the citizen´s health or save energy resources, the star-alternative is the bicycle. In the congress there were many and diverse bicycle concepts. Some of them entail to reconsider the existing road infrastructures; even the own likeliness which, in some cases, may not be width enough…


  • One of the most contributing aspects to turn smart cities into “sensible” cities, is the citizen´s participation. It may be materialized in a number of aspects related to the city management: to watch the governance performance, to take part in decision-making processes, to get involved in certain operative procedures or to report any kind of incidences. An example of the incidences´ communication was shown in the Kunamoto City´s stand in the congress. Kumamoto has developed a disaster prevention platform based on the citizens´participation:


  • Finally, one of the attractions of the event were these prototypes of the robots that may in a near future use our cities´streets as they were common pedestrians. They talk to you, give information, carry light loads, they take you to specific places,…


… they even take photos of you and share them in their Twitter account…

(“look who´s in #SmartCityExpo…”)
[1] SMART CITY EXPO WORLD CONGRESS. 2014. About us. Consulted 22 nov 2014.
[2] ARAGON VALLEY. 31 jul 2013. 10 consejos para reducir tu huella ecológica y proteger el planeta. consulted 22 nov 2014.