Trends Report

Brief: Cities Take Over The Show

At Smart City Expo 2014, Cities Take The Stage And The Show Floor To Demonstrate Government Innovation

November 25th, 2014
Jennifer Belissent, PhD, null
Jennifer Belissent, PhD
With contributors:
Pascal Matzke , Carmen Margarit-Stoica


A well-balanced mix of technology vendors, academics across various disciplines, and government practitioners descended upon Barcelona last week for the fourth annual Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC). At previous SCEWC events, technology vendors dominated the exhibition floor with flashy booths displaying their wares, as happens at most trade shows. This year, however, the exhibitors reflected a different mix. Cities and other levels of governments filled nearly half the floor space — with representatives boasting their tourist attractions, their livability, and their innovations in sustainability, citizen engagement, and governance. The usual suspects filled the rest of the floor, with most (but not all) promoting their platforms for a larger partner ecosystem. This brief provides an overview of that event and discusses how the shift reflects not only a greater maturity on the part of cities, but also a readiness to embark on digital transformations and benefit from the new data sources and tools at their disposal.

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