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3 lessons we learned at Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona

Smart City Expo is a leading event when considering Smart Cities’ market. At the 2018 edition we got to really important conclusions, which we’ll share with you in this post.

1. Get ahead of urban mobility challenges

Microsoft predicts that the average urban dweller will spend 106 hours in traffic jams by 2050 and that there will be 2.5 billion cars on the road. Air pollution, traffic congestion and greenhouse emissions are some of the biggest problems cities are facing.

While attending the keynote “Enhancing Urban Mobility” Marijke De Roeck, Director of Communication and Participation from the city of Antwerp, talked about how the city gets help from a solution to provide citizens with mobility as a service. Citizens can use a cloud, AI-powered solution to connect to a variety of mobility options — such as trains, buses, ridesharing, among others — and find the optimum way to get to their destination.

2. Share the data!

While data is the oil of the digital economy, many leaders at the conference expressed the need to move away from a surveillance economy, where information is in the hands of very few companies.

By having an open city interface and shared data, the startup ecosystem can creatively solve problems. At the expo, London was called out as a city that is heading in this direction. London has open sourced all of their transport data, resulting in over 600 different apps that solve real mobility problems for its citizens.

We also got to know the cross-city project “Decode”. It is a project of the European Commission, together with other 14 partners that is aiming to set the next standards for data and create a framework for people to take ownership of data.

3. Think Digital

Instead of thinking of digital cities as the final destination, leaders should think of how they can transform their cities into citizen-centric organisations. Digital cities are like live organisms. Those that enable different parties to work together on top of a shared, secured infrastructure, will realise greater innovation that will hopefully create better and healthier lives for generations to come.