Smart City Expo World Congress

The development of an intelligent urban ecosystem is a reality now more than ever.  Barcelona, the global centre of innovation and creativity, perfectly assumes its role as the world capital of “Smart Cities”.  This is substantiated by the great excitement of the media surrounding the event and the presence of specialists from all over the world. The Smart City Expo World Congress reminds us that never before have the metropolises united such talent as today.

In recent years, the concept of an “intelligent city” or Smart City” has spread worldwide, and for good reason: in 2050 almost 7 billion people will be living in urban centres. The need to transform our cities and, through them, the world, is ever more apparent. It is widely recognized that digital technologies will be the backbone of future cities and that without them, urban transformation will be impossible. This does not mean putting aside the cities’ essence: life in society, citizenship, and common good – as Plato rightly said.

From the 13th to 15th of November 2018, the city of Barcelona hosted the eighth edition of Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), one of the most important events in this sector globally, with 840 exhibitors and over 700 cities represented in the Gran Via Venue (Fira de Barcelona). The congress added to various other important events held during the same week: Smart Mobility Congress, Circular Economy European Summit, Share Barcelona, etc.

Define the intelligent urban Ecosystem

Hundreds of speakers and specialists, representatives of 120 countries were able to compare ideas, and present future solutions in terms of: mobility, security, sustainable development, social involvement, all through the prism of information technologies.

Create the debate 

This year, the event also included NGOs such as Greenpeace and Save the Children. An opportunity to exchange very different points of view regarding how the urban future should face its most pressing challenges, including social cohesion.

Once again, through this important event, Barcelona has proved itself as a dynamic, future-facing city, open to people and the world.

Be ethical, live better

Amsterdam is chewing on revolutionary ideas

Once again, the Dutch have offered a great initiative within the field of the circular economy. Through an association of two English businesses, the municipality of Amsterdam has begun to recycle the tons of chewing gum flourishing on its pavements to make basketball shoes. Gum scented!

In large cities, chewing gum and cigarette butts present a real challenge in terms of cleanliness, and sometimes, a real stimulant for innovation…  In Amsterdam, a company has developed a model of a sports shoe with a sole that is partly made from recycled chewing gum.

The collection of waste in the city of Amsterdam had become a social problem. With the knowledge that chewing gum thrown on the pavement takes over 20 years to disintegrate, the city decided to make its citizens aware of the severity of this pollution which each year equates to 1,500 tons of waste collected by a specialised cleaning team.

As well as Amsterdam’s municipal services, the project mobilised the British company, Gumdrop, and the design agency, Explicit. The production of a pair of “Gumdrop” trainers revalue one kilogram of chewing gum. To foster the public spirit, the company has installed posters inviting passers-by to stick their chewing gum in a dedicated area instead of throwing it on the ground. This makes collecting the precious chewing gum significantly easier!

Tourists and residents in Amsterdam can purchase these trainers for a price of € 199. There are various colours available: black, red, or sweet pink, and they still smell sweet! The experience of recycling contaminating materials for a pair of trainers has a precedent. In 2016, Adidas developed trainers using recycled fishing nets.