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Barcelona ready to welcome 25,000 for Smart City Expo World Congress

From November 19 to 21, Catalan capital will host 1,000 exhibitors and 400 speakers at major international event exploring smart urban solutions


17 November 2019 07:25 PM


Lorcan Doherty|Barcelona

Entrepreneurs, policy-makers, academics, representatives of civil society and global companies, journalists, and students are just some of the more than 25,000 people from all over the world due to turn up for Barcelona's Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), from November 19 to 21 in Fira Barcelona's Gran Via conference venue.

Whether environment, population, transport, security, and privacy, or economy and government, cities face a growing list of challenges that the congress aims to address by proposing and debating potential solutions to make the world's urban areas "green and liveable cities that reflect a strong sense of responsibility to future generations."

This year's congress goes under the slogan 'Cities Made of Dreams' and will feature over a thousand exhibitors and 400 speakers focusing on five main concepts related to helping provide the world's cities with a sustainable future: Digital Transformation, Urban Environment, Mobility, Governance & Finance, and Inclusive & Sharing Cities.

Some of the keynote speakers highlighted this year include Bloomberg transportation expert Janette Sadik-Khan, Deputy CEO of Siemens AG Roland Busch, Nasa science communicator Laura Tenenbaum, director of the Miralles Tagliabue EMBT architecture firm Benedetta Tagliabue, and cybersecurity executive and influencer Shira Rubinoff.

Among the solutions that will be presented and discussed at the congress are new models of governance and new approaches to equity and a circular economy, along with new technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, drones, and self-driving cars, as well new information distribution systems, such as blockchain.

Catalonia presents 'The City of the Future'

The Catalan authorities will also be there with a multisensorial proposal called "La Ciutat del Futur" (The City of the Future). The "Smart Catalonia" stand will offer visitors a chance to "live" for a while in a smart city, with experiences that include voting with blockchain technology, riding a self-driving bus, or eating in a digital restaurant.

The Smart City Expo World Congress has continued to grow since its first edition in 2011, and this year the Catalan authorities have expanded their exhibition space from 150 to 621 square meters. Among the more than a thousand exhibitors from over 140 countries will be 29 Catalan organizations, nine more than took part last year.

The SCEWC has also grown in the events it stages, and this year has over 90 side events allowing visitors to network and debate the solutions proposed in the congress, which is also devoting all of its profits from merchandise to its Towards Zero Waste initiative, a reforestation project that plants trees using drones and smart seeds.


  • Image of the 2017 Smart City Expo fair in Barcelona (by Josep Ramon Torné)

  • Image of the 2017 Smart City Expo fair in Barcelona (by Josep Ramon Torné)