SCEWC 2022: The Shift Towards Sustainable Urban Futures

A global summit showcased a united front for sustainability, with a notable shift towards SDG13 and climate action. The event highlighted the need for impactful, large-scale integrated policies and the resurgence of urban data platforms like digital twins. The consensus moves away from top-down approaches, emphasizing people-centric solutions and smart governance. Amidst evolving marketing narratives, Asia leads with innovative concepts, while the automotive industry slowly integrates into the smart city vision.

This year was an exceptional and joyful Smart City Expo World Congress in #Barcelona #Catalonia 🇪🇸 ☀️! #SCEWC22 👏🏻

It was a truly hashtag#global event 🌎 with many national, regional and cities pavilions from Americas, Asia, Middle-East and of course, #Europe 🇪🇺. Besides, #Germany 🇩🇪 had a very strong presence with its powerful #Länder (regional states) !

The main focus has clearly shifted to #sustainability (#SDGs) and more specifically the hashtag#SDG13 on #climate action (#COP27). According to the United Nations#agenda2030, we are entering the “decade of action and delivery”. So, we MUST accelerate ! Instead of “as usual” research projects, we need now to focus more on #impact and “at scale”; #integrated policies are also the key. As a result, urban data platforms have made a coming back in a certain way with the #digitaltwin (#3D), which is surely the new buzzword of the year !

Many consider that the#topdown & #technopush approach has ended, advocating to focus on #people first. To my view, it is still a slogan that hides organizational and institutional challenges, as well as capacity building in cities and regions. The future is in the hands of new political leaders but also great public / private #facilitators. Many initiatives have failed and smart #governance and #methodology are clearly a necessity if we want to help reach the global goals.

Interesting also to notice the change relating to #marketing vocabulary, which is becoming more political. Japanese talk about “smart garden” and Korean “smart village”. Closer to #people, solutions try to solve urban/rural issues. That’s still purely conceptual and hashtag#Japan 🇯🇵, for instance, needs first to engage a structural HR national revolution by creating and attracting new digital talents, not only in rural areas but also cities. Finally, the metropolis of #Seoul 🇰🇷 won the Smart City Award 2022 🏆. #Korea 🇰🇷 is leading in #Asia !

The h#automotive industry is not yet on board. Why aren’t connected 🚗 already part of the #smartcity vision (#V2X, #FCD) and future solutions ? Mercedes-Benz AG participated as a brand but it was the only one among carmakers. Microsoft had also a demo vehicle. By the way, Deloitte has announced a new report (01/2023) on the future of this industry, advocating a service based #businessmodel shift by 2035. This insight is not so new …

The futuristic and visionary Arabic NEOM 🇸🇦 as well as Toyota Motor Corporation’s #WovenCity 🇯🇵 initiatives were not promoted this year at #Barcelona. Will they be the next worldwide #smartcity flagships or just a new #techcom delusion ?

Last but not least, I had the chance to visit Siradel and Dassault Systèmes, which are #digitaltwin solution providers. Both are located in #Rennes #Bretagne, a famous 🇫🇷 digital cluster, including #cybersecurity. In the region, Dassault Systèmes is now operating a #digitaltwin in the port of SAINT-MALO AGGLOMÉRATION (Coopération intercommunale). Indeed, #smartport was also a hot topic in #Barcelona !

About Stéphane Péan

Freelance expert, Ker-Iz Consulting