Shanghai chosen Smart City of 2020 at Smart City Live

The city of Shanghai (China) has been chosen as the Smart City of 2020 at Smart City Live, the 2020 digital edition of Smart City Expo World Congress, the international leading event for smart cities organized by Fira de Barcelona, during the award giving ceremony hosted this afternoon. The new Covid-19 Innovation category has gone to Werkit (USA) for a project to improve work in Zambia.The remaining awards –, Enabling Technologies, Urban Environment, Mobility, Governance & Economy, and Living & Inclusion – have gone to the Shenzhen Municipality (China), Siemens and Microsoft, Pantonium Inc. (Canada), Zencity’s (Israel), and the Government of the State of Alagoas (Brazil), respectively. The World Smart City Awards are presented every year to acknowledge the most outstanding initiatives and projects in the urban innovation and transformation industry.

Shanghai’s smart city plan (2016-2020), currently on its final year of implementation, has granted the Chinese metropolis the City Award of 2020. Focused on the development of a wide array of resources including the deployment of intensive digital Infrastructure, e-government services, a City Brain and the integration of information technology and industry. The Plan’s strategic objectives and its current achievements have been essential in the jury’s decision.

Under the name Smart Shanghai — People-Oriented Smart City, the project envisioned the deployment of the digital infrastructure needed to become the first “Dual Gigabit” city, achieving full 5G coverage in the downtown area and also accomplishing a Gigabit fiber coverage of 99% in the city. Additionally, the e-government initiative has managed to become a useful tool for its citizens and registered over 14.56 million users within a total population of over 24 million.

Cities against the pandemic
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been particularly harsh in urban areas around the globe, but the worldwide reaction and the resilience shown, prompted Smart City Live to include a specific Covid-19 innovation award this year. In this new category, the winner is the Innovative adaptations to the ‘Future of Work’ within the Global Digital Marketplace project that the American company Werkit has designed for Zambia. The project enables the access to remote digital jobs in the African country, and provides digital banking services, skill advancement assistance and a virtual community of support, to the Sub-Saharan youth who have suffered rising unemployment rates and low wages due to the impact of COVID-19.

The award in the Enabling Technologies category has gone to the Shenzen Government Services Data Bureau its Digital City – Technology Makes a Better City initiative, aimed at improving the city’s livelihood services and city governance capabilities in order to become a modern, international and innovation-based city. Among the actions undertaken are strengthening the digital infrastructure, free WLAN coverage in public spaces, epidemic prevention management and smart policing.

In the Urban Environment section, the winner is the Mindsphere City Graph platform by Microsoft and Siemens. The City Graph enables contextual integration and analysis within cities, districts or campuses. The platform builds digital twins of real entities in a city and optimizes city operations step-by-step, through IoT and advanced analytics.

The Mobilty award has gone to Pantonium Inc. The Toronto-based company has devised a software solution capable of converting the entire public transit fleet in a city from fixed route operations to a flexible on-demand service. Drivers are guided through optimal one stop at a time, and users request rides to and from any transit stop in the area. The solution has already been tested on the late-night fixed route buses in Belleville, Ontario (Canada) registering increases in riders and reducing vehicle mileage.

The winner in the Governance and Economy category is Zencity’s (Israel) Data-driven Decision-Making tool for Local Governments. Using advanced Artificial Intelligence, the platform helps local governments make data-driven decisions based on their communities’ needs and priorities, gathering and analyzing millions of anonymized, aggregated data points of community feedback.

The last category, Living & Inclusion, the jury selected the A New Life in the Grotas: evidence-based slum improvement and urban development developed in Maceió (Brazil) by the Government of the State of Alagoas. The program combines interventions in vulnerable settlements with a focus on mobility, public spaces and housing, and strategic actions for strengthening public policies through production, use and systematization of tabular and spatial data.

Barcelona, November 18th 2020

Folc Lecha
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