When looking for an example of what could be a smart city, it is uncommon not to think of Barcelona. The city has been at the cutting edge of innovation projects andthe several prizes and international titles that have already received prove it. But in the last few years, in mid-November, the city is also mentioned for other reasons: Smart City Expo World Congress, the main international fair of smart cities.
This year, the topic proposed by the organization places the technological component of smart cities in the background and focuses on who lives in these cities. "Cities for Citizens" is the background of more than 60 events planned at this congress, among plenary sessions, parallel sessions, round tables, etc. Developing strategies to strengthen the democratic participation and involvement of people in the life of the cities in which they live in, in order to progress and develop, this is the challenge to be met. There are hundreds of companies on the stands and, in addition to well-known names such as Cisco, Microsoft, MasterCard, Philips, Seat, Siemens, SAP, Huawei or ZTE, there are also stands where Portuguese is the main language. Cavedigital, Magnum Cap, MPT – Mobilidade e Planeamento do Território, Navia (A2O) and Ubiwhere are the Portuguese companies using this opportunity to show their solutions to the world.
With the promise of dematerializing the decision-making ecosystem within entities, mainly city councils, Cavedigital takes, for the second year, SmartGovernance to Barcelona. «It is the result of our commitment to international fairs, because we can interact in a single event with multiple international stakeholders responsible for strategic options and decisions that shape the current and future organization of cities», explains the company. The cities "correspond to one of the bets" of this solution, which is why we expect that the presence in Barcelona represents an "increase of recognition/awareness by the stakeholders" vis-a-vis the product "as a solution for the digital decision-making processes, as well as an increase of direct leads - action with the fair participants - and indirect, via commercial partners", he hopes.
The sustainable energy sector, in particular with regards to electric mobility, is the «focus» of Magnum Cap. The production of charging systems for electric vehicles and energy storage, as well as the integration of smart and renewable networks has been the main focus of this Aveiro company, which is also present at the Barcelona fair.
Planning and designing cities with quality and in an inclusive manner has been the inspiration of MPT - Mobilidade e Planeamento do Território, therefore the topic of SCEWC 2016 could not be more appropriate for the company founded by Paula Teles. Present in the market for more than a decade, their vision is based on the «relation between people and places, through integrated planning and design practices, involving the aspects of mobility management, territory planning and urban requalification, city design, architecture, social inclusion and disadvantaged communities, landscape architecture and urban ecology», it can be read on the website.
While in Barcelona, Navia shows of their 15 years of experience as an Information Technology company. As an ambition, the company points out the "simplification of operational management processes through the introduction of technological solutions, as a way to ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of infrastructures, processes and territories." Jorge Tavares, general manager, explains Navia's position in the smart cities market: "In an first phase, we play a part in the basic infrastructures of the cities, introducing the concept of agile operations into their operational management. Currently, we provide Command Centers that allow the full management of a city, guaranteeing the operation and maintenance of public spaces, infrastructures, security, public services, lighting, wastes, water, etc., through a single shared and collaborative platform". At the fair, Navia will present its latest application of participatory citizenship. "An app that allows the effective integration of the citizen in the workflow of the teams that manage the cities, transforming it into an active part of the management and preservation of the public good. Through this application, the ordinary citizen has the opportunity to communicate, directly, with the appropriate department, any occurrence, malfunction or unforeseen event, in the certainty that they will be taken cared of and informed about the resolution of the event in question. It is the preservation of the patrimony and everyone”s resources, through the inclusion of all, "concludes the official.
As for Ubiwhere, 2016 will be the third participation year in the fair of Barcelona, presenting the consortium Citibrain. "The presence in SCEWC is of extreme importance for Citibrain, given that it is an event entirely dedicated to the niche market that it wants to reach - smart cities. This is a unique opportunity to show the evolution of our smart solutions to the cities of the future, achieving visibility on a global scale, since this is an event that receives thousands of visitors from all over the world», admits Ubiwhere. Citibrain is a consortium specialized in intelligent solutions for cities. «Creativity, knowledge and innovation are at the heart of the Citibrain's strategy, focused on growth initiatives - Internet of the Future and Smart Cities - with the overall environment and urban lifestyle in mind», describes.