Barcelona is becoming an international reference point for smart cities

The Catalan capital is hosting the first edition of the ‘SmartCity Expo & World Congress’, which brings together more than 9,000 professionals to discuss interaction between new technologies, urban planning and citizen welfare. In addition, “the father” of electric cars in Asia, Professor Chan, stated that Barcelona has the “great potential” to become the electric car’s “open window to the world”. Last week, the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, participated in the 10th Metropolis World Congress held in Brazil, where he met with Cisco Systems Vice President to build an innovation centre focused on smart cities in the Catalan capital.

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

November 30, 2011 09:53 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona is becoming an international reference point among smart cities, which use technology to make the urban environment easier to live in. The Catalan capital is currently hosting the first edition of the ‘SmartCity Expo & World Congress’. More than 9,000 professionals and 300 companies are discussing the interaction between new technologies, urban planning and citizen welfare in the ‘Gran Via’ venue of Fira de Barcelona. The event is running from November 29th to December 2nd. Representatives from more than 50 cities, international companies such as IBM, research centres and universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other professionals and experts will be discussing energy, the environment, urban planning, and mobility, among other subjects. They will also discuss how best to find the resources to finance initiatives in the current climate, and increased cooperation between the public and private sectors appears to be the chosen route. The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, announced that the city will use this formula to implement further smart city projects, “in all districts”, “not only in the heavily technological 22@”. Last week, the Mayor of Barcelona participated in the 10th Metropolis World Congress held in Brazil, where he met with Cisco Systems Vice President to build an innovation centre focused on smart cities in the Catalan capital. Trias also stated Barcelona wants to lead the transformation of European cities into smart cities. He announced the creation of the Smart City Campus in the 22@ district, which would concentrate several companies in the sector, as well as a school of engineering. In addition, Barcelona has launched several projects related to electric vehicles over the last year. The “father” of electric vehicles in Asia, Professor C. C. Chan, from the University of Hong Kong, said on Tuesday, in a conference in Barcelona, that the Catalan capital “has great potential” to become the electric car’s “open window to the world”.

Barcelona organises the first edition of ‘SmartCity Expo & World Congress’

The first edition of the ‘SmartCity Expo & World Congress’ has been organised by ‘Fira de Barcelona’, the city’s trade fair. It will be an annual event and this year time runs from November 29th to December 2nd. The event was unveiled by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. He stated that “the virtuous” triangle formed by “environmental sustainability, people and company talent and the need to create wealth” must be strengthened. According to the Catalan President, in the last number of years the policy of sustainability has “widened its scope”. It goes beyond the protection of environmental scenarios to also cover the talent of companies and people, and the creation of wealth through economic activity. The ‘SmartCity Expo and World Congress’ coincides with the trade fair ‘BCNrail’ that aims to increase synergies between new technology projects and urban rail mobility.

The Mayor of Barcelona announces a Smart City Campus

At the opening ceremony of the event, the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, announced the creation of a Smart City Campus in the technology district 22@. The campus will concentrate private companies working in the sector as well as university departments and research centres. It will also cooperate with other European cities to promote international protocols to better define how smart cities can be developed while serving its citizens.

Cisco Systems to create an innovation centre in Barcelona

Last week, Xavier Trias participated in the 10th Metropolis World Congress in Porto Alegre, in Brazil. There, Barcelona’s Mayor met with Cisco Systems Vice President Wim Elfrink to agree on the building of an innovation centre focused on smart cities in the Catalan capital. Cisco Systems and Barcelona City Council had already signed a cooperation agreement to create a platform to develop technological applications to improve the efficiency and quality of citizen services.

Endesa unveils its solar house to control its smart city projects in Barcelona

The Spanish energy company Endesa has unveiled the venue that will control all the Smart City projects run by the corporation in Barcelona. It is an innovative building in place to coincide with the ‘SmartCity Expo & World Congress’. It is a 154 square metre building, made by modular structures and totally removable. The building is temporarily assembled at the Marina Dock, in Barcelona’s Old Harbour. It is entirely covered by solar panels and is able to produce energy for 12 houses. It has been designed by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and promoted by Visoren.

The “father” of Asian electric cars believes in the potential of  Barcelona in the sector

Professor C. C. Chan, from the University of Hong Kong is considered to be the “father” of electric vehicles in Asia. Professor Chan stated that Barcelona “has the great potential” to become the electric car’s “open window to the world”, the “model to follow” for many other cities in the world. He made the comments in a workshop organised by Casa Asia and held on Tuesday in Barcelona, coinciding with the opening of the ‘SmartCity Expo & World Congress’. Professor Chan praised Barcelona's will to prioritise electric mobility. He said it is a key element of smart cities, and he is convinced electric cars will become the vehicles of the future. According to Professor Chan, electric mobility will be widely used in 10-15 years time. However, to reach their objective, cities need to install “smart grids”, which optimise energy resources, and the public administration need to offer “transversal” incentives, not only in terms of taxes.