In November 2014 members of the Programmable City team visited the Smart City Expo and Congress in Barcelona. The organisers have now posted up videos of all of the sessions on their YouTube channel. Together they make interesting viewing for anyone interested in understanding what is happening with regards to creating smart cities. Rob Kitchin and Gavin McArdle presented a paper at the Congress (below) entitled, ‘Dublin Dashboard: Open and real-time data and visualizations for citizens, government and companies’.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Web Summit in Dublin, a large, tech entrepreneur event (my observations on the event are posted here). This week I spent three days at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, another event that considered how technology is being used to reshape social and economic life, but which had a very different vibe, a much more mixed constituency of exhibitors and speakers (a mix of tech companies, consultants, city administrations/officials, politicians, NGOs, and academics; over 400 cities sent representatives and 240 companies were present, and there were over 10,000 attendees), and for the most part had a much more tempered discourse. We presented our work on the Dublin Dashboard and the use of indicators in knowing and governing cities, attended the congress (keynote talks, plenary panels, and parallel paper sessions) and toured round the expo (a trade fair made up mostly of company and city stands). I thought it would be useful to share my observations with respect to the event and in particular some of the absences. Continue reading