Municipal innovation, geared towards tackling the main challenges for mobility, participation, social rights, housing, the environment and urban planning, is on display at this year’s Smart City World Congress, with a total of 23 projects being exhibited.
Some of the projects have already been implemented, such as the Decidim.Barcelona platform and the ethical mailbox, have shown how public participation has become a key feature in developing solutions to respond to the city’s genuine needs.
Because of this, the new edition of the Smart City World Congress, from 14 to 16 November, places special emphasis on citizen empowerment, in other words, the promotion of active public involvement in governance and decision-making. That means citizens driving positive change for communities and cities, striving for the inclusion of underprivileged collectives and the construction of a more democratic, equal and fairer society.
The congress also includes an international meeting between cities with the slogan ‘Smart housing in a smart city’, to focus on housing. Some of the most notable activities include a debate on measures to stabilise the rise in rents, the presentation of the report on the state of housing in the EU and the new census of empty housing and rented housing pool in Barcelona, which helps identify empty flats and make them available to citizens at below market rates.
In terms of the rest of the projects, other notable initiatives include the implementation of 5G, which must be a tool to help democratise access to mobile phone networks, the GrowSmarter initiative, which entails quick charging points for electric vehicles, the creation of smart taxi ranks and the construction of highly energy-efficient housing. Likewise, the programme to promote and monitor the generation of solar energy, and the joint challenge between Barcelona and New York on mobility for the visually impaired, are of particular interest.