Smart City Expo 2023 opens a New Urban Era with record-breaking figures

The 2023 edition of Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), the leading international summit on cities and smart urban solutions organized by Fira de Barcelona, contributed to open a new era of urban innovation after registering record-breaking figures and holding the event together with Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress – organized with the EIT Urban Mobility –, Tomorrow.Building and Tomorrow.Blue Economy. After three days, the events gathered over 25.300 attendees from 140 countries at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue.

The 600 experts discussed the different strategies being deployed worldwide to tackle the challenges that cities are facing in areas such as Mobility, Governance, Sustainability and Inclusion. Among the keynote speakers featured Nathan Blecharczyk, Co‑Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Airbnb; the President of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta; computer scientist and expert in Algorithmic bias Margaret Mitchell; AI-specialized lawyer Micaela Mantegna; and former UK Minister for Energy & Clean Growth and sustainable development expert, Claire O’Neill.

Together, the events hosted a total of 1,106 exhibitors, 29.7% more than in 2022, who showcased their latest projects and solutions. Among these were industry leaders Aramco, Axis, BSM, Cisco, CBRE, Dassault Systemes, Dell, Deloitte, Drees&Sommer, FCC, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, KIA, Microsoft, Moventis, Nvidia, PTV Group, PWC, Racc, Renfe, Roshn Group, Samoo Architects & Engineers, Samsung C&T Corporation, Sener, Siemens, SPIE, Smart Ports: Piers of the Future, and Veolia.

Amongst the over 800 cities and countries present featured Brazil, China, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nordics, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and USA, who showcased their latest initiatives including projects using Digital Twins to represent and monitor different urban areas or Artificial Intelligence to manage mobility and other city services.

The Director of Smart City Expo World Congress, Ugo Valenti, said: “the outcome of Smart City Expo 2023 has certified that we’re opening the door to a new era for cities, as our theme for this year stated, one of innovation and sustainability. For three days, we’ve seen how cities and companies have started to pave the way to a better future and we’re proud that our event and Barcelona have been chosen as the global hub for this joint effort.”

Maria Tsavachidis, CEO of EIT Urban Mobility and President of Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress, said: “Tomorrow.Mobility brought together more people than ever before. The active participation of hundreds of companies and multiple institutions, alongside the engaging discussions around critical themes of urban mobility, showcases the industry’s dedication to shaping sustainable urban mobility. We are inspired by the knowledge-sharing and collaborations that emerged from the event and look forward to continued cooperation within the wider urban mobility ecosystem to ensure cities become more liveable for all.”

World Smart City Awards

The Brazilian city of Curitiba was awarded as Smart City of 2023 at the World Smart City Awards that acknowledge every year the most outstanding initiatives and projects in the innovation and urban transformation industry. This year’s edition also included a special recognition to Anna Lisa Boni, Deputy Mayor of Bologna and Secretary General of Eurocities from 2014 to 2021, and Claudio Orrego, Governor of the Santiago de Chile Metropolitan Region, both winners of the Leadership Award.

Exponential Technologies

The Gran Via venue also hosted the third edition of PUZZLE X. The event organized by MATTER, discussed the potential of exponential technologies and delved into a range of topics including Planet Tech, Quantum world, Physical AI, Exotic Computing, Quantum Cities, Bio Tech & Genomics, Ultimate Connectivity Matterverse, Brain-Machine Interfaces, DNA Data Storage, 6G, Digital Atoms, Fusion Energy and Helium 3.

Smart City Expo World Congress will return the Gran Via venue in Barcelona for its thirteenth edition on 5-7 November, 2024.