The stalagmite effect has hit home here in Barcelona at the Smart City Expo, framing the current state of the smart cities movement
City leaders, technology innovators, big business, SMEs, foundations and not-for-profit groups have come together to debate, listen, seek solutions, showcase, collaborate and make money with the clear understanding that citizens are the central point of it all. Smart cities work when technology is applied from the ground up, manifesting outcomes, solving real need and real problems. The SCEWC16 strap line says it all: ‘cities for citizens’.
The circular economy also looms large here offering a beguiling array innovative solutions to urban issues. Cities are consumed by waste in a number of guises. Take cars for example, they are parked 95 per cent of the time -- and the need to house them is a constant challenge -- yet sharing transport and intelligent mobility offer a raft of solutions.
And how much are buildings, especially commercial ones, actually occupied? They represent an enormous amount of construction waste. How can we design buildings that can be reconfigured, remade into something else rather than just demolition and disposal.
We need vision, bold governance and a collective mindset that looks to chain reactions rather than single entities. There is no time to waste.