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Barcelona celebrates the Smart City Expo World Congress 2017

Barcelona Smart City Expo World Congress: Empower Cities. Empower People.

Barcelona celebrates the Smart City Expo World Congress, more than ever, what happens in cities is shaping our world. The future of the world’s urban population will mostly be built in our lifetimes. The challenges we face are immense and only by working together will we be able to tackle them.

Over the next few decades, the continuing urbanization and overall growth of the world´s population is projected to add 2.5 billion people to the cities. All regions in the world are expected to urbanize further, especially in Asia and Africa, where the fastest growing cities are located.

The world is becoming even more interdependent and cities must act together across borders to deal with similar challenges: population growth, climate change, traffic congestion and pollution, lack of adequate and affordable housing, education and health, the integration of refugees and migrants into urban life, among many other pressing issues.

Empowerment has been defined as an intentional ongoing process which occurs in communities and organizations, involves active participation, critical reflection, awareness and understanding, and most difficult but important of all, the access and control over important decisions and resources, in a climate of mutual respect and caring.

CITIES MUST ACT TOGETHER ACROSS BORDERS TO DEAL WITH SIMILAR CHALLENGES.

Cities are the closest level of government in relation to its people. They are better positioned to listen to the real needs of its population and to solve global problems. Cities have the task of translating the global frameworks and regional policies into real action on the ground. However, cities today need to do more with less, and they require financial support to increase the infrastructures needed and basic services to ensure greater social equity and sustainable cities for all. There is an imperative need to empower cities.

Local action has a significant global impact. Cities are where social innovation happens, which allows everyone to equally seize the opportunities offered by digital transformation and technological advances. The model of urban innovation focused in providing a more plural digital economy is only possible based on the collaboration between public administrations, companies, the academic and research community, and most certainly, the citizens. Technology is a key element in the service of people for the democratization of the city. Digital technology can work as an enabler for public participation, transparency and citizen proximity. Social inclusion starts with citizens. A bottom-up approach is needed to empower people.

SMART CITY EXPO WORLD CONGRESS IS COMMITTED TO LEVERAGING THE GLOBAL AGENDAS AT LOCAL AND NATIONAL LEVEL

Smart City Expo World Congress is committed to leveraging the implementation and follow-up of all global agendas at local and national level. The event aims to be the place to collectivize urban power, to increase the strength of cities, to identify business opportunities, to establish partnerships and contribute to enacting common policies. A place to share research, best practices and potential common solutions, achieved through effective collaboration.

As the leading event for cities, we understand the need for giving cities a powerful global voice as well as an innovative platform for common urban action. The event is the meeting point for governments, companies, entrepreneurs and research centers, where cities meet other cities, showcase their projects and find new solutions, and where companies make business. It has turned out to be an exceptional networking platform to connect people working in and with cities around the world who are tackling similar challenges and generating opportunities for action.

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