Barcelona’s urban innovation on display at the Smart City Expo

Under the slogan “Barcelona shaping urban futures. Step into the city of tomorrow”, the municipal stand at the Smart City Expo World Congress presents the city’s ambitious and transformational projects to build an equative, competitive and climate-neutral city. The stand is displaying thirty transformational initiatives such as heating and cooling networks, industrialised housing and urban challenges, projects for sustainable mobility or direct application in people’s daily lives, grouped onto three main spheres of work: urban transformation projects; digital innovation and knowledge projects, and projects for the economy and competitiveness.

07/11/2023 14:37 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

This is the first time the display includes the application used by cleaning inspection staff, which features real-time data and information on the route of cleaning and waste collection vehicles. Currently in the initial roll-out stage, the app will enable changes required in the service to be applied immediately in response to any incident or need, achieving a process of ongoing improvement.

Visitors to the congress will be able to see and try the first test version of Digital Twins, Barcelona’s digital twin that in the coming years will be a key tool in urban planning.

Urban innovation challenges

The Fundació BIT Habitat will be presenting two new urban innovation challenges: one to improve service on the city’s bus network and the other to foster the use of city sports circuits among women.

The 21st-century panot paving stone will also be presented, the result of the previous challenge from the foundation and now being installed in the green street of C/ Almogàvers, as will scale models for the urban regeneration projects for residential housing blocks with sustainable innovation systems.

The municipal stand will also feature the scale model for the block of 45 industrial-built homes constructed in four weeks in the neighbourhood of El Besòs i el Maresme, based on three-dimensional factory-built modules. Other projects on display include the ARI social care robot for senior citizens, refrigerated lockers for markets and more.

Space for meeting and connecting

The ‘Àgora’ is an informal networking zone at the municipal stand, operating with its own agenda throughout the congress. The stand will be presenting the results of the Scorewater project, promoted by Barcelona Cicle de l’Aigua (BCASA) and funded by the European Union, which studies the environmental and health habits of people in Barcelona through the analysis of residual water.

Based on the installation of devices and sensors at three points in the city (Sant Gervasi, El Carmel and Poblenou), the project has been collecting data for four years that give an insight into which hygiene products people in the city use, what type of waste gets thrown down the drains and the presence of drugs and medication, stimulants, nicotine and more.

Entrepreneurship as the Barcelona Activa Brand

Part of the stand will be given over to nine new companies which used Barcelona Activa services and are currently developing projects in the city, enabling them to showcase their work. Projects include physical gadgets, such as Seabots, a marine drone to monitor water quality; Sitep, a helicopter drone with a camera to recognise and identify people; the Etecnic recharging point for electric vehicles, and Lobèlia, with a display showing a satellite vision of the Earth.

Barcelona Activa is one the organisations behind Tomorrow. Blue Economy, a parallel congress to the Smart City Expo to promote and develop the protection of the blue economy and the preservation of ocean and marine resources as an economic driver. Participants at the congress include experts, scientists, start-ups and institutions which will be sharing solutions and experiences to make progress in this area based on innovation, an interdisciplinary approach and public-private collaboration.