Someone once said that "the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." And we think our dreams are not only seductive and radiant, but possible. We believe that a city is not gauged by its infrastructures, its skin, its digital aesthetics, but by the height of its vision to respond to the needs of all citizens, without leaving anybody behind.
Smart City Expo World Congress started back in 2011 with a vision, questioning whether smart initiatives could make sustainable cities flourish. Not because it was a nice thing to do but because environmental footprints were quite alarming.
The data speaks for itself. The special report on Global Warming issued by UN-IPCC on October 2018 warned us that the time to act is now. There are only a dozen years to limit global warming to 1.5ºC and cut risks of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty. We do know that roughly two-thirds of the global population will be living in urban areas by 2050. So, how do we brace for impact?
We have come a long way since 2011 and the smart city opportunity has become a reality. Today we are happily experiencing this hands-on feeling for the results of the work undertaken. Stakeholders are moving from small proof-of-concept projects to smart implementation at scale.
New governance models and new approaches to equity and a circular economy have also emerged along with IoT, Artificial Intelligence, drones, self-driving cars and new forms of micromobility. New ways of processing and distributing information such as blockchain and IOTA have also come into the picture.
The future is not far-off anymore, the future is now. Cities have become socio-economic and political actors on national and world stages and have a major impact on the development of nations. Yet we need to keep on exploring new paths, reinventing places and scenarios, drawing new cartographies of imagination, as we still have the opportunity to make things happen just the way we need them to be.
Nordic Smart Cities Network will be participating to the congress with a presentation slot in the Nordic pavilion. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are combining their forces for the second time to set up one common Nordic pavilion for Nordic companies and cities, with an exclusive program for exhibitors, partners and clients.