Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is a visionary platform found in 2011. It began with the aim to ascertain the practicability of smart city initiatives in creating sustainable cities that work for citizens. It believes that a city is not measured by its infrastructure, ecosystem and digital transformation. But by its extent of willingness to respond to the citizen needs while focusing on inclusiveness.
Since its inception, SCEWC has been conducting annual events in order to empower cities and attract global urban innovation on one platform. It promotes social innovation and recognises business opportunities and collaborations that can create a better future for cities and their citizens.
This year, SCEWC event took place in Barcelona, from 19-21 November 2019. With this year’s theme ‘Cities Made of Dreams’, it focused on some of the biggest challenges being faced by cities. Awards were given in five categories which include Digital Transformation, Urban Environment, Mobility, Governance & Finance, and Inclusive & Sharing Cities. This year’s event witnessed over 700 participating cities from 146 countries. And it attracted 1010 exhibitors and more than 400 speakers with a significant number being women.
Going ahead let us find out which cities stood out in various categories.
Stockholm – Smart City of 2019
SCEWC event recognised Stockholm, the capital of Sweden as the ‘Smart City of 2019.
Stockholm’s strategy to create a smart and connected city through innovation, openness and connectivity to improve living conditions and business environment excelled. This was the reason Sweden’s capital bagged the award, according to the judging panel.
The city of Stockholm showcases smart and integrated solutions in several areas that address climate change including low energy districts, sustainable mobility and infrastructure. The panel comprising representatives from Barcelona City Council, UN-Habitat, the UITP International Association of Public Transport and the World Bank and SCEWC stated.
Recognised as one of the most connected cities in the world, Stockholm provides access to a broad spectrum of e-governance services. For example, in 2007, the city invested €70 million in high quality, accessible e-government services. This resulted in 50 new digital services that reduced management costs significantly.
It’s citizens and businesses benefit from an open fibre network owned by the city. Moreover, the fibre optic supplier, Stokab provides space in hubs. These nodes enable customers to install communication equipment that can help connect their own network to other networks.
At present, Stockholm is making efforts to attract the business community in a smart city initiative named ‘A Woman’s Place’. 100 companies have already signed up to this project based on ‘common values of equality.’
Yingtan – 5G-enabled Digital Twin City
A 5G-enabled digital twin city of Yingtan in China received ‘The Digital Transformation Award’ by SCEWC. The project still underway is deemed to be the world’s first 5G all-domain digital twin city. The intelligent urban space in collaboration with Huawei is using 5G, IoT networks, AI-powered IoT ‘brain’ and high precision city information models to develop new applications.
The government of Yingtan has created the city’s unified services following a model called “One Centre, Four Platforms.” The IoT ‘brain’ deployed by the city features intelligence, efficiency and an all-domain 5G+IoT coverage.
With this smart deployment, the city is able to construct a digital twin and enhance its digital economy with IoT at the heart of it. Over a period of two years, IoT has been used to connect a number of devices that are more than the city’s population.
In addition, 214 IoT companies have been established that are working on the digital transformation of the urban landscape in Yingtan. Alongside, it is also speeding up the development of economic, industrial and social environment. Currently, the city has officially launched a couple of 5G services. Intelligent water facility, transportation, streetlights, and parking – all supported by IoT applications – are improving the lives of citizens.
The regional mobile IoT network shows leading density and high-quality coverage across China. The intelligent water meter global application is the first of its kind in the country. While the installation rate has attained 95%, the leakage rate has come down to 12%. The 5G-powered water system is giving an annual water savings of 2.4 million tons.
Besides, under the smart transportation initiative, 89% of operating vehicles in Yingtan have installed vehicle-mounted terminals. And the number of daily alarms have dropped from 15000 to nearly 280.
La Paz – Urban Mobility Winner
Mi Teleférico, the State Cable Transportation Company in LA Paz, Bolivia received the Mobility awards for the newest network of cable cars in the city. The network operating between La Paz and El Alto is believed to be the world’s first city public transport system made primarily of cable cars. It covers a distance of 31.6 km comprising 37 stations and 10 operational lines.
In 2004, Medellin, Colombia launched a successful metro cable in the city. Following the trend and the tremendous benefits of the transport system, a number of other Latin cities developed similar projects. However, the La Paz cable car network system is the longest urban network in the world.
It is worth noting that the winning cable car network connects two geographical landscapes that are highly complex. Moreover, these places are home to two million people with a significant number facing poverty. Therefore, to act for the underprivileged population, Mi Teleferico designed a fast, efficient, reliable and affordable transport system for the citizens.
Each cable car line operating at 4000 m above sea level shuffles 3000 people per hour – between two cities. The travel time has come down from one hour to just 10 minutes. Plus, the cost per ticket has decreased from 5 Bolivians (for one way bus travel) to 3 Bolivians (for one way cable car journey.)
Buenos Aires – The Inclusive & Sharing City
Buenos Aires in Argentina came up as the ‘Inclusive and Sharing’ city. It received the award under this category for its Barrio 31 project. This program is working on policies that better integrate slums with the rest of the city. Aiming to curb the social divide, the initiative is underway around the city’s Villa 31 settlement.
Villa 31 is one of the largest slum areas in Argentina with its population expanding rapidly. Buenos Aires government is implementing an integrated approach that attempts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for citizens. In the quest, the government is also focusing on bringing housing and urban transformation throughout Argentina.
To achieve the goal, the government is using a strategy involving structural and impact measures. And along with active participation of citizens, it will ensure equal rights to society, education, economy, and health.
In addition, this calls for development and improvement of infrastructure and equipment. Having appropriate availability of these will ease access to quality education and health benefits. In turn, this will also support sustainable economic development in Buenos Aires.
Los Angeles – The Governance and Finance Winner
Los Angeles Data Science Federation, launched in 2017, won the Governance and Finance award from SCEWC. The federation established by the city of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency is a collaborative research partnership between the City of LA and 18 colleges and universities in the city.
Under the Data Science Federation, more than 40 projects have been introduced to utilize the data science to overcome some of the biggest challenges in LA. As the initiative moves ahead, it will support city government in making data-driven decisions.
In addition, university professors and students get access to real-world datasets and data resources. This will benefit them from working on real-world data challenges. Inline, the federation paves the way to opportunities for students from underprivileged neighbourhoods.