Smart City Expo World Congress, Barcelona

First day of the congress started – here are some quotes that perfectly fit my theory that Smart City is not about innovation of technology but about a revolutionary approach in organizational structures….

Keynote
Kent Larson, Principal Research Scientist and Director of the Changing Places Group, MIT Media Lab, Department of Architecture and Media Lab, Cambridge, USA:

* ‘We developed cities in segmented areas over time and realize the limitation of this concept. Segments are not made to scale.’
* Buildings originally were constructed like skeletal systems and progressed to structures that add blood circulation to the bones. ‘I think next stage is comparable to the nervous system of a body.’ The implementation of sensors make data available and actionable information possible. Challenge is to get acceptance of people – young people love it, baby boomers not so much. Therefore the transformation process to smart solutions will be a bottom up approach over time.
* ‘People, especially young people increasingly prefer to share and use than possess.’ referring to the cover story of The Economist.
* From the audience the question how to commercialize the impressive technology shown was raised. Larson’s idea is to encourage students from MIT and other academia to set up startup companies. These startups than need to be fed into large corporations for them to roll out large scale solutions. ‘Governance should encourage this.’.

Plenary session “IT city integrated vision”
* Chris Vein, Chief Innovation Officer for Global Information and Communication Technology Development, World Bank, Washington DC, USA quoted Mike Bracken / UK: ‘”In an analog world policy dictates delivery. In a digital world delivery informs policy.” This entails a whole new way of organising our business processes.’ – Exactly! – Couldn’t have said that any better 😉

Plenary session “The Future of urban Sustainability”
Amitabh Kant, CEO & managing director, Delhi and Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation, New Delhi, India:
* ‘Horizontal integration is key to urban development – this is difficult for retrofitting, much easier in greenfield. {…} Segmented urbanisation is dead.’
* ‘Technology is not the ultimate solution. Technology has to harnest the people. People make it a vibrant city, not technology. Emerging countries have an advantage and are the ones to make a sustainable planet.’
* ‘Smart City, Connected City, Intelligent City Concepts – are all dead, if corporations like IBM, Siemens, Schneider – all the big ones that exhibit here today – continue to supply in silos! You need a revolutionary approach.’

Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma, IBM, Vice President, Smarter Cities, Europe:
* ‘Data becomes a natural resource in itself. {…} Cities across the world are mainly structured in silos. This is not a bad thing, as you need experts in the segments. But for sustainable development data needs to be used across segments.’
* ‘Many cities move to horizontal organization to make use and integrate data available. This was the bases for the Rio project.’
* ‘Coming back to your (Amitabh Kant) point of corporations working in silos: There is a need of combination of public and political players. Municipalities can help private companies to understand the needs and work together.’
Factual-, observational- and social media data can now be integrated and put into actionable data. Motivation for cities to do so is to reduce operational cost. This can easily be done by analysing data available. Innovative projects can then be paid out of the savings.

Moderator Cristiana Fragola, C40, regional director Europe, Milan, Italy:
* ‘I think it is common understanding of this panel that a smart city first of all is about integration, integration, integration. Even before upgrading aged infrastructure.’

Sam Adams, Managing Director, City Club of Portland, Portland, USA:
* Political top ranking issue should be: ‘Set goals! Set goals what kind of city you want to be. Only afterwards use technology to achieve these goals.’ Currently the focus is on technology and implementing solutions without necessarily paying to a big picture.

Larry Ng Lye Hock, Urban Design Director, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore:
New developments now put sociologists in first place rather than architects and city planners.

More to come 😉

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s