Eight Chinese cities seek smart urban solutions and ideas at Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona

2012 set a critical milestone for China: For the first time in its history, the People’s Republic of China became a mostly urban society with a total urban population of 712 million or 52.6% of the total. To efficiently absorb the new citizens, the Eastern Giant will need to adapt the existing cities and build new ones capable of managing resources and people’s needs in a more efficient manner. Seven Chinese cities will look for urban solutions at Smart City Expo World Congress 2013, the world’s leading event on smart cities that will be held in Barcelona from November 19th to 21st.

The cities who have already confirmed their attendance are Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, Wuhai and Wuxi. Over 100 representatives will comprise the mission including both institutional and technical envoys. The Public sector will not travel alone and China will also have its own Pavilion within the exhibition area of Smart City Expo. Hosted by the China Communications Industry Association, it will spread over 100 m2 and will comprise up to 10 companies within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.

China already has several cities with over 10M people ¿Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Tianjin¿ and is already building several more. Not only are new megacities certain to be built but the existing ones will need “retrofitting” to become more efficient from a natural resources and energy management perspective. Both new megacities and historical ones are in need of smart solutions that apply holistic and multidisciplinary approaches to planning and building to help them become truly sustainable.

With an economic growth rate of 7.8% in 2012 and an annual investment of 9% of its GDP in infrastructure, the country’s latest Five-Year Plan has focused on sustainability and improving people’s lives both in urban and rural areas. This same plan has identified ICT as the critical factor to achieve the goals of improving the sustainability of its cities, improving the well-being of its population and delivering government services throughout the second biggest country in the world.

World-class speakers and ideas
The Congress will bring together the world’s leading experts and urban thinkers to tackle the challenges that cities are facing. This year’s edition will feature speakers such as Amory Lovins, environmental scientist and chief researcher at the Rocky Mountain Institute; Kent Larson, Director of the Changing Places research group and co-director of the City Science Initiative at the MIT Media Lab (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Anthony Townsend research director at the Institute for the Future; and economist and urban development expert Richard Florida, among others.

Organized by Fira de Barcelona, Smart City Expo World Congress is the world leading event about smart cities. On its last edition it featured over 250 speakers and gathered 100 cities from the five continents and more than 7.000 visitors ¿including 2.000 delegates¿ from 82 countries.

Barcelona, July 31st 2013